On Friday night, Elliotte Friedman reported at SportsNet that the NHL is working towards having the 2020 draft early in June – specifically, June 5.
This would mean the draft could happen weeks before it was initially planned, which could play a role in the Blackhawks decision making as changes have started taking place at the top of the organization. Hiring a new President and/or CEO (or GM) five weeks before the draft is a complicated proposition.
Here are some of the details of the tweaked process the NHL proposed to teams on Friday night, according to Friedman:
- The lottery format would change for year’s darft only. The lotter would pick only one winner, and limit any move-up to a maximum of four spots. This would mean the best the Blackhawks could do was move up to the fifth overall pick. The Red Wings would pick no worse than second overall.
- The draft order would be determined using each team’s points percentage.
- Unless there are changes made to the playoff format (not in the memo last night), the 15 non-playoff teams would be in the lottery.
Friedman notes a number of executives have already pushed back against the plan to draft in early June, including (interstingly) Detroit’s Steve Yzerman. One would think the team with dramatically increased odds of landing Alexis Lafreniere would love the idea that their worst-case-scenario was second overall, but Yzerman was among those not happy with the plan according to Friedman.
One other point of interest brought up was the concept of conditional trades. How could a team trade a player at the draft if the league hasn’t officially canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 season yet? Accoring to Friedman, the NHL would propose solutions to conditional trades and the teams involved would have seven days to either change the deal to the league’s satisfaction or accept the league’s proposal.
From the article: “Daly indicated the league’s research of the last five draft days showed that there were 106 trades conducted and 64 would have been similarly permissible had the draft been staged prior to the end of the season.”