Yesterday afternoon NHL commissioner Gary Bettman conducted a phone meeting with the league’s board of governors with the agenda of determining when exactly to conduct the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Word from TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie is that Bettman and company are insistent on scheduling a June Draft ahead of the completion of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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Ultimately, no decision was made on the scheduling on the draft and, officially, the NHL gave no statement concerning the matter. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly did say however that it’s important for the league to make the “right decision.”
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Look... we all want the NHL to return, whether it's on the ice or on the draft floor, but it's strange how much the league is trying to force the draft into the month of June. It simply doesn't make sense and maybe we can thank the Boston Bruins for shutting down the league's decision making process, at least temporarily.
A major factor in the league NOT going ahead with a mid-playoff draft appears to be the pushback that the NHL has received from its teams. Bruins reporter Jimmy Murphy spoke with some anonymous NHL scouts to get their reaction to the news and… well let’s just say these guys weren’t really feelin’ it.
“That’s what we were told this weekend and they told us to keep planning for that,” one scout said to Murphy. “All signs point to June Draft and the owners being on board for a draft in just about a month. None of us like it but is what it is and we need to accept it and keep going.”
“We won’t get a vote in which direction that goes but I think it’s incumbent upon the league to make the best decisions for everybody involved and we’ll be prepared for it,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said in a call with Boston media members yesterday.”
“Albeit, it’s still to be determined. I think they’re going to discuss it with the Board of Governors in what direction they want to go. I have my own preferences. … but that being said, I think the league has to make their decision about what’s best for the overall decision making than any teams that have a personal preference and I have to respect that.”
I gotta say… the NHL has one of two options in my mind:
1. Play out the season this spring/summer and have the draft at a later date.
2. Cancel the season outright and hold the draft in June.
Why the NHL feels it’s important to squeeze the draft into June while games are still being played is beyond me? First, make a decision on the season and then let the chips fall where they may. Why is the league making the draft a priority over the damn Stanley Cup? Strange times…