The Future of NHL
The Rangers playing the Islanders before the season was suspended. Photo by Paul J. Bereswill.

Unfortunately, there is still no exact return date for the NHL. We are still promised to have the playoffs this year, but it may come at a cost. The future of NHL is looking like it will have a rippling effect on the 2020-2021 season.

As of right now, there are still about 10 games left of the regular season, then there would be the playoffs. The NHL has stated that they are willing to hold playoffs in as late as September or October if need be.

This would mean that December would become the new start date of the 2020-2021 season. The regular season would end in May 2021, then lead into playoffs. That also means that the NHL All-Star weekend would be canceled.

Their current hope like many other sports leagues is to return in the “mid-to-later portion of May.” But there are problems with this.

The first problem is how these players would train. The ideal way to do it would be to have them use smaller training areas that have fewer people around. In other words, the players wouldn’t be able to practice together as a team. This also leaves the actual start date of resuming the games open, since it is up in the air of when these players could make contact with each other.

Another problem is the current closure of the U.S. and Canadian border. The two governments would have to work together to find the best way for these players to travel back and forth.

It will be interesting to see how the NHL will move forward with their future.

Current Playoff Matchups for 2019-2020 Season

For when the season does resume, here is a quick break down of what the playoff matchups are looking like.

For Eastern Conference, we have the Boston Bruins versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets are a wild card, so we will see if this can pan out for them when the season returns. Another wild card is the Carolina Hurricanes that may face the Washington Capitals.

Then we have Tampa Bay Lightning versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Another exciting matchup will be the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburg Penguins.

For the Western Conference, we have the Vegas Golden Knights going against the wild card Winnipeg Jets. Then a close matchup will be the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames.

The other wild card is the Nashville Predators that may face the St. Louis Blues. Lastly, it will be the Colorado Avalanche versus the Dallas Stars.