We wish it was all a dream but it has really come to this: commissioner Gary Bettman made it official on Thursday announcing that the 2019-20 season has been suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans have legitimate questions on what will happen with the rest of the season and the playoffs, but it goes beyond this!
How will the flow of the offseason be disrupted? Does free agency get pushed back if the playoffs leak past July 1? Are training camp and the preseason prior to the 2020-21 campaign in jeopardy of being shortened?
You have to imagine that the league and NHLPA will bang heads over this, seeing that owners and players often come to the table with competing interests on these aspects of the game.
It is expected to be a huge summer when it comes to free agency with big names like Taylor Hall, Torey Krug and Braden Holtby, but we wonder when players will be able to test the market, when rival teams will look to make offers. Speaking of which, how about restricted free agents and potential offer sheets?
This will be interesting to see once we know when the season will be back on and how far the postseason schedule will leak into the summer…