NHL Announces Return To Play Plan

More about the complete plan can be read on NHL.com.

The 2019-20 regular season is complete for awards and record keeping purposes.

Formal training camps will not open before July 1. 24 clubs will report to two Hub Cities for conference-based round-robin playoffs. The NHL did not announce the locations of the hub cities yet. Chicago is on the list.

The top four teams in each conference will play a round robin to determine the top four overall seeds.

The qualifying round of playoffs will include the bottom eight teams in each conference, and be played with regular season rules, meaning there will be one overtime period and a shootout if necessary. The first and second rounds of the NHL playoffs will be either a best-of-5 or best-of-7.

The Conference and Stanley Cup Final will be best-of-7. The Conference and Cup Final will be played in one hub city.

The Chicago Blackhawks were the 12th and final team to make the play-in round. They will face the Edmonton Oilers in the best-of-5 qualifying round series.

The seven clubs that are not advancing into the playoffs and the eight teams eliminated will participate in the NHL Draft Lottery. There will be three drawings to determine the top three overall picks in the draft. The eight teams participating in the playoffs will receive placeholders in the lottery.

A Phase 2 draft lottery would include even odds for all eight of the teams that resume play if the top pick is won by a placeholder for a team resuming play.

64 thoughts on “NHL Announces Return To Play Plan

  1. My first question is, what does this mean for the kids that just signed: Mitchell, Barratt, Highmore, etc.

    Second: OMGeeeeeee!!!!

  2. My question is, if Chicago beats Edmonton where will they be picking in the draft?
    Sounds like instead of picking in the top 10 their first pick could drop significantly.

  3. Stape that’s how it sounds, if Blackhawks win 1st round, Oilers become one of the 8 to 15 lottery teams with other 7 play in losers.Blackhawks would then sit at 16th or 17th out of lottery pick range, of course it keeps dropping every round they advance too.

    If Bettman sticks to his initial ruling Mitchell be ineligible to play. However there must be a feeling he could move on that ruling as a few haven’t officially filed contracts in hopes he does change that ruling.

  4. Given most of our defenceman already give opposing forwards 6 feet or so of room in front of our net there shouldn’t be any issues with social distancing.

  5. I’m not sure how I would feel if the Hawks were to beat EDM in the play in and then lose in first round and end up picking 16 or so – the draft is supposed to be deep so they could still land a good player so I guess I’m ok with it

    I could never cheer for the Hawks to lose anyway and winning a playin would be valuable experience and EDM can be had

  6. With well over 3 months between games this will truly be a toss up with success to the teams that can get in hockey shape the fastest.It also could be a nice advantage for the lower seeds to get that 5 Game Series in while the Bye teams get only 1 seeding game.

  7. I would also think that the chances of Chicago being a HUB Site for the games is 0% given the status of the City and State.

  8. Thanks Tab.
    And Jordy that was CLASSIC. nice.

    tbh, I don’t care what happens as long as no one gets hurt or sick. Safety 1st. Its gonna be weird, but let’s gooooo! Happy to have something to look forward to.
    Summer hockey, here we come!

  9. 28 skaters and unlimited goalies allowed on the roster.

    You’d have to think, 10 or 11 D

    Keith, Murphy, Maatta, deHaan, Keukkok, Boqvist, Carlsson, Seeler, Gilbert, Beaudin, maybe McCoshen.

    Forwards :

    Toews, Kane, Saad, Kubalik, Strome, deBrincat, Nylander, Kampf, Highmore, Carpenter, Caggulia, Dach. That’s 12.

    I doubt Shaw or Smith play.

    So : Hagel, Sikura, Quennville, Kurashev, Entwistle. 17 F

  10. Honestly, I think this is not a real season. Hockey, a winter sport in July or August until late September? With teams that have no merit to be in the playoffs? No fans!
    I would rather see the Hawks get a high draft pick and change the entire staff starting with the GM and Coach!
    What happens if Crosby or McDavid get sick before or after game one? Then what?
    Funny, The NHL conducts 3 lockouts with Bettman, players didn’t get paid and then started up in January to play for free in the playoffs. Now, they desperately want to play because the rich owners are losing money, they want playoffs, and still the players play for free in the playoffs? I hope the NHLPA wakes up and plays hardball, they control this… so play the playoffs but not for free, not ever, starting this season. If you win the cup, players get a ring? This is not minor hockey, players need to get paid for the playoffs. I still believe if they do play, the Hawks and several teams do bo deserve to be there but it does create jobs for others.

  11. I guess you can see it as an opportunity or dwell on the negative aspects, either way it is what it is.

    That’s probably pretty close to who they carry Craig, would say Fortin could be in forward group too.

  12. I don’t think it’s dwelling on the negative-just reality.
    It will be nice to watch sports but there are lots of important questions and teams and players that won’t play for almost 10 months, and others-perhaps stars will get hurt.
    It’s a new world.
    The real problem is they understand the fall-early winter may be a mess so not playing in the fall will be a possible blessing but the winter? Sports (and us) needs the vaccine.

  13. I wish the Hawks will loose their first 3 games by one goal then there will be less danger for the players ,more time home with their family , more time enjoying the strange Covid summer ,and A better pick for all the rounds .
    And the younger players would have a small taste at the playoff .
    Then get ready for next season starting in December or February, 40 to 50 games.

  14. If all the players, coaches, refs, support staff…..etc get tested, they ALL test negative…..how is is possible for a player to get sick with Covid ? If anyone thinks a healthy person can get another healthy person sick is just plain stupid and needs to apply to be the village idiot. And this is the position of the pro leagues….idiots and morons.

  15. Could this be the future of sports…?

    It appears that our society has redefined risk taking…

    I don’t want anyone to get this virus, the flu or athletes foot for that matter…

    But I refuse to live in fear of what “might” harm me…

    If I did I’d never leave the house… (even the house is scary)

    I guess I just don’t understand why it was ok to let these players risk serious injuries, paralysis & possibly death every time they stepped out on the ice, but the risk of a virus with a 99% recovery rate is too extreme…

    I don’t mean to offend anyone, I’m just old school in my thinking…

    Maybe it’s because I spent 30+ years risking my wellbeing every shift as a cop for way less $$$…

    But I knew the risks & was willing to accept them to provide for my family…

  16. 100% correct Joey….the powers that be now know it is possible totake away our freedom and liberties with ease, all it takes is a ” virus ” to be declared and have some schmuck left leaning doctor and media create hysteria and Government officials to place stay at home orders…..job done ! And it worked.
    Now freedom loving Americans have had enough, and we want our country and rights back !! And Sports back to dang it !!!!

  17. Hawks make playoffs.
    Always a good thing. Ya never know in hockey what can happen.

    Regarding the virus and where we go as Americans into the future, it all boils down to one question:
    Do we the people want to be like George Patton or George McClellan?

  18. Some people live in a vaccuum of respect and actually knowledge. The respect part sometimes isn’t fixable.
    Days do you realize that it won’t be just the players and staff involved-it will be many others, hundreds possibly-media, construction (on-going), technical, hotel staffing etc. etc.? if someone gets injured will they stay on site, or not allowed to return when better? Do you think that all people who enter these sites will be sequestered for months? Most medical people and ‘hockey pucks’ who know much more than you realize this isn’t fool-proof. They will be as safe as possible, but that’s all they can do.
    But I guess you know-lol.

    I like many welcome the diversion and return to some normalcy-but it will be a new normal–as it should be.

  19. Stape, thats why I said other say that this is the worst thing for us draft wise. Not only could we beat EDM we could beat DAL and be 22nd in draft on a yr we should be 9th pick or ping pong balls.

    Not routing against but its better for us for the future to not beat EDM this time.

  20. C’mon Morrison.
    Draft picks? Really?
    Future Schmuture.
    Cam Barker was the future.
    Everett Sanipass was the future.
    Ryan Hartman was the future.
    Adam Clendenning was the future.
    JP Bordeleau was the future.

    None of them panned out.

    Winning a playoff series is ALWAYS better.
    You been watching this game long enough. You know that.
    You win and people notice.

    That is ten times better than draft picks.

  21. How to build a Stanley cup team
    Bolland was the future
    Bickel was the future
    Browser was the future
    Hjalmarson was the future
    Kruger was the future
    Saad was also the Future
    And off course Toews and Kane ….this is how they won 3 Stanley cup
    With draft pick during 5-6-7 years
    And this year it’s supposed to be a very good deep draft…so I would prefer to get a nice pick then losing in second round and draft the first pick at 18 or 21 .
    Plus …draft 8 or 9 in every round Would be advantageous .

  22. ….Keith drafted Seabrook drafted Byfuglien drafted Crawford drafted even Burish drafted …. 2010 is correct.

    This all goes to show Colliton for certain should be discharged and Bowman as well (even though Bowman has drafted decently, he gets rid of his assets rush rush, nilly Willy — 1st round picks from Danult on down the list), he gets an “F” re asset management.

  23. I have a question for the hockey fans on this site that are more intelligent then I am (of which I’m sure there are plenty)..if the first phase of the draft is completed and one of the play in teams wins a top 3 pick, what incentive would that team have to try to win their play in series? For example, if the Hawks win the 2nd pick, why would they even attempt to beat the Oilers and drop from 2nd in the draft to 16th or so? I’m sure I’m missing something..thanks in advance if anyone can help clarify..

  24. If moving on from Saad is the plan, Devils have 3 picks in first round, maybe if Blackhawks do win a round or 2, could still package Saad and their first pick to move up and get Devils 2nd top 10 pick. They want wingers to play with Hughes, Saad maybe somebody of interest plus few lesser parts likely involved and be right back picking where they are now and get some playoff experience to boot. Really outside 19 and 88 the draft picks being talked about as building last team, no others were top 10, and mostly all outside the first round, some as low as 6th or 7th rounds.

    Then move towards Dach as no.1 C and Toews take Saad role and extend his life as an effective top line winger. Take some of the load off Toews and allow Dach a few years to master hus faceoff skill. Kubalik with them and see if Cat, Strome, Kane can be driving offensive force as top 6 going forward. Build a 3rd line, with Barrett as a 3rd C or possibly Kurashev in a year or 2. Who knows if Leafs in a bind and willing to move a Kappanen or Johnsson, may land somebody like that to bolster 3rd line. Develop some other bottom 6 wingers add a 4th C fairly cheap if you want and in 2 years time have a decent forward core. Be getting in a position at that point where shaping roster by big name trades or ufa be an option would be available in another year or so.

  25. Slayer not 100% sure but i am assuming in phase 1 of draft as they call it, the actual spot wouldn’t be disclosed if it was an 8 to 15 team. Just say that an 8 to 15 won the 1st, 2nd or 3rd pick and after play in round is completed, the team or teams would become known at that point. That’s just my speculation though, not saying for sure.

  26. Slayer and Ian, if a play in team wins the lottery, that team is NOT identified.
    The spot remains open until a second lottery of play-in losers.

    So for instance, let’s say Detroit wins lottery drawing #1. They pick first. Let’s say Ottawa wins drawing #2, they pick second. Let’s say Anonymous wins lottery number 3. That is NOT a team.

    The second lottery among teams that lost in the play-in will take place in July. Each of the 8 losers would have the same exact chance at the #3 pick.

    The Lottery is going to start with pick number 1, then pick 2, then pick 3, unlike past years when it worked its way down from number 15.

    The Hawks best hope is that Anonymous comes up 3 Times. Let’s face it. There is no way that happens.

  27. Ian, on Saad. This is why a draft in September is much more beneficial to the Hawks than a June draft. Player movement.

    I was told this past weekend, there will plenty of moves involving the Hawks at the later draft.

    Most expect the salary cap to go down which would make the Hawks “sellers”.
    A team like Ottawa has two picks in the top 5 of the first round. They are definitely keeping those. However, Ottawa has 4 second rounders. All of those are Likely in play. Montreal has a bunch of picks. They want players and are willing to deal picks.

  28. @Days of Yesteryear, the problem with your argument is that the testing has so many issues with its validity and consistency and subjective administration that it is at best a coin toss and at worst a deliberate choice of outcome for the test administrator (or their bosses). As such the test can not tell you if you have or dont have covid let alone if you have enough of it to even potentially get sick from it. In addition it will can pick up basically any genetic info from previous coronaviruses or other illnesses you may have had in the past and now actually have antibodies/immunity for. Many of the cases that are being blasted at everyone 24/7 who chooses to watch their tel-lie-vision programming are exactly that according to leading Virologists and Professors – evidence of immunity not illness let alone a high potential of death.

    30-40% of people who test positive for covid19 will never feel a symptom, another 40-50% will have mild – severe flu like symptoms, and the small remainder – predominantly age 80+ having already 2 or more serious chronic illnesses will be the ones with some real potential of dying but of course they would have that potential of dying from exposure to many other things too and we have never locked down the world nor said we need to social distance en masse, quarantine the healthy (aka tyranny) not just the sick. It’s insanity at a massive unprecedented scale.for a virus admitted by one of the supposed experts himself Dr Fauci in the New England Journal of Medicine a few weeks back to have an actual average death rate similar to the flu of around 0.1 not the crazy 3.4 numbers that were being thrown around originally by people following insanely wrong (off by orders of magnitude) models by Neil Ferguson and others in institutions funded by Bill and Melinda Gates who have the potential of making trillions – no exaggeration – off the offshoots of this pandemic to cap off Gates’ “Decade of Vaccines” and earn him his expected 21 times return on $10’s of billions invested – all his words not mine. Connect the dots. Masses of people saying science says this or scientists are telling us this on the news. Well, I’ve got news for all those people. The scientists and doctors are not all saying the same things about this event nor about the responses – lockdown, subjective designations of which businesses can stay open aka deemed essential, social distancing, masks, contact tracing etc.

    @Joey Zamboni, you’ve hit on another important point. Where does or should your freedom to live your life be impeded by others’ fears- whether warranted or completely irrational or somewhere in between?

    As to sports, it made zero sense to close tennis courts, ice hockey rinks where players are basically covered head to toe (save necks and half faces) even if you had evidence that elite athletes or people in prime health in their 20s-30s have high risk of death or serious injury from this which we certainly have seen little to no evidence of. I could go on but that should make the point. This lockdown and its pseudoscientific supposed preventative methods like social distancing/contact tracing months into the supposed outbreak where the cat is out of the bag and not going to be returning to it and not only that but the cat is basically harmless to over 75-80% of the population should tell you this was never about protecting public health.

    And yes hits from behind are orders of magnitude more likely to cripple or kill an NHL hockey player than this virus is and should have been completely punished out of the league by now. Aka punishments to both the team and player and serious half to full season ejections and draft penalties maybe even until people get the message this will not be tolerated at all because we value the life (during and after hockey) let alone the entertainment value (and tv revenue generation capacity) of our star players and their contributions to their teams’ success.

    PS…never want anyone to die anywhere anytime but last time I checked mortality rate of life was 100% before or during this outbreak. You don’t stop the world to try and protect a vulnerable segment of society. If anything you quarantine the sick and the vulnerable but never the healthy. That’s called Tyranny and is not scientific either. Viruses like this that dont spread in the air are spread indoors not outdoors so asking or forcing the healthy to stay inside is exacerbating the situation not flattening any curves which also was simply a temporary distraction to deflect attention from the real elements of control like the contact tracing and digital id system that has been planned to be implemented on a worldwide scale for over a decade now and has billions of Gates and others money backing it and the WHO, CDC, GAVI, ID2020, MYpass, Mipass, NIAID, GPMB, Partners in Health, Moderna, and the rest of the Global Health Mafia.

    Go Hawks!

  29. @Noonan,

    Usually I hold your posts in high esteem but you are misinformed in this case. The new normal you are quoting is simply a term, a vision created in a document written 10 years ago that outlined this exact scenario we are living now. Except it didn’t just outline it, it planned it piece by piece. The new normal is simply a vision by people who want control of the population in every manner possible. The virus is simply their way to institute those elements of control with the majority of people who don’t take the time to do their own due dilligence being likely to go along with their propaganda that is being blasted 24/7. They can take their new normal and shove it. It is not justified by science at all. The virus isn’t even remotely a justification for the destruction and devastation of livelihoods the social distancing and lockdown have caused and will continue to rack up effects of far into the future.

  30. Yes I much prefer talking hockey but this is not a time to be silent on the bigger issues. It is time we need to have open friendly and constructive debate on them. My two cents at least.

  31. Darren-come on, I meant the new normal as in the next sports season-I’m not saying things can’t get back to normal when this dies out (and that means some caution to protect all players, employees-people). But if people think there isn’t some permanent change coming in retail, industry, travel etc. (perhaps sports) I think that is head in the sand. What won’t be changing is the growing divide of what-how people think and act-that’s always here to stay. Which is both good and bad.

    I do agree that terms get used too much, and I used one of the buzz words.

  32. My ask:
    As a front line RN who is battling this virus every f*cking 12 hour shift I step into work, I am asking you to please stop it with the diarrhea of the mouth re: the virus.
    If you watched NBCSports Chicago telethon, I was the RN that got surprised by Seabs. (I was fully vetted/checked out by Blackhawks PR before it happened, btw–so I am not an actress, nor am I “fake news”)
    The reason I am asking you to please
    save your rants for somewhere else is because I come here for a break from the madness.
    No matter what you believe, I am not going to change your mind. It’s proven.
    The last thing I am going to say about this pandemic is that it has been a complete shitshow from the beginning by ALL sides at EVERY level of government/hospital/health admin. We have been let down at very single level, no matter left, right or inbetween. We continue to fly blind when it comes to this.
    So I am begging you, please: can we talk about this as it relates to hockey only?

    Because right now, I am exhausted. Completely done. I have seen more awful things since March 30th than I ever have in my 19 year nursing career and I come here for a break.
    I’m out.

  33. Ian, yea thats smart. I would still rather have two top 10 picks if not keeping Saader. The Dach draft had 2 of 3 ping pong balls so we could see 2 again for the 8-15 draft.

  34. Testify Stephanie! – thank you for that – a needed reality check

    And totally agree that we should keep covid talk to how it applies to hockey only

  35. Thanks Stephanie-a much needed reminder-I have/had some nurses in the family.
    Thanks for what you do.

  36. @Stefanie – I prefer that we talk hockey, but this pandemic has an effect on everything, including hockey. Plus, it’s a message board, and people can say whatever they want. If you don’t like the topic, bypass it. I only read about 5-7 posters on this board, and just happened to see yours as it was the last one. We don’t need message board censorship. We all respect your line of work, but that doesn’t give you the right to now dictate conversations.

  37. @tommy, I was just asking. Thats all.
    Didn’t want to turn this into a diatribe; There was a really long post prior to mine that had nothing to do at all with getting back to hockey and talked about tyranny, Bill Gates & government that set me off. That’s all. I know I don’t get to dictate.
    Tab does, its his blog. I was just asking.

  38. @stefanie – I didn’t read it. they were not on my preferred reading list. I just read them. that did go past hockey and the effect of the pandemic on the game. my bad – your request was valid. i prefer we keep it to hockey. fyi…my sister is an emergency room nurse, so i hear all the stories…god bless!

  39. Thank you all for the love, respect & good vibes…
    Know that all of us out here appreciate the sentiments. Not trying to censor at all, just trying to keep what brings me joy. I have to get better at just scrolling, lol.
    :)

    The draft is so convoluted with the “Anonymous” picks, but that was a good explanation, @Craig–Thanx!

    IMO, I think trying to draft AND play the season out simultaneously is really ridiculous. They should have picked one or the other. Again, just my thoughts.

  40. @noonan and @darren, of course other people and industries are involved and if they want NHL money, I am sure they will follow safety guidelines and protocols….it’s just that easy. As for everything else in regards to validity of the tests….accuracy….etc…..I guess neither of you need to go out in public due to your fears. Again it’s just that simple, make your own decisions in regards to your health and the risks you do or do not want to take. It is not the governments job to tell you what choices you must make in regards to your health.
    As for Dr. Fauci and the rest of your points, we obviously agree.to disagree and will not waste my time or your time debating the truth or lies about this virus.
    Y’all have a wonderful day.

  41. @Tommy Ivan
    Though I agree with most of your post, @Stephanie is suggesting, not dictating. In her second to last paragraph, she writes, “So I’m begging you….”

    Hardly censorship. Give her a break. I’d rather not read about COVID or politics here either, but it’s still a free country.

  42. Thx Stef for your time and the energy you give to those people ..we need people like you around us.
    I think Hawks-should play the maximum of young player during that first round
    We have many young kids who need to experience the playoff..it’s the perfect timing .

  43. Ok.
    The hell w the playoffs.
    Just lose right away and hope you draft well. I got crystal balls for sale.

    With an attitude like that, Edison and Tesla would have us watching steam driven TV.

    Sheesh.
    If you don’t want to win, don’t show up.
    Want proof?
    Go read about George McClellan. General of the Army of the Potomac.

  44. Stefanie.
    Thank you for what you are doing during the pandemic
    You, above all, have the right to tell us to shut up about the virus.

    Much respect and appreciation.

  45. Thank you, Stefani. Stick tap to you for your service and your words. I stay off of this blog for the most part because most of the threads are fan fantasy nonsense. It’s boring. And to you morons proclaiming that your rights are being abridged by this pandemic, I say FU. I’ve lost one family member and two friends have lost family members to this, so FU. And I don’t say this because I want your sympathy. I don’t. I don’t give fancy F about any of you. Yes, keep it to hockey, please.

  46. Easy Tony.
    Deeply sorry for your losses, but…..easy Tony.
    Nobody gets out of this world alive.

    Better to keep mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

    Individual rights are the foundation of the USA.

    Balance is the key.

  47. Anything that takes attention away from “one goal” is just a waste of time. The Hawks did not earn a trip to any playoffs/tournament. An injury this late in the year to a key player can ruin the next season. Firing JC, SB and developing young players should be the priority not preparing for one last stand to try to save their jobs. I miss hockey as much as anyone but I would be ok if the Hawks are out in 3 as long as someone knocks off the Blues.

    Side note, Lamers has earned the honor of being in the HoF and his sweater in the rafters of the Madhouse.

  48. @ morrison

    pretty ignorant question morrison. hasn’t stefani been stressed enough trying to save lives without having a neanderthal like you be so inappropriate. ironic that is the first comment i have read from you that is actually grammatically correct. i guess you are more comfortable when operating in the gutter.

  49. and back to the hawks. no matter how this playoff appearance might play out, the hawks are still a very bad team. with very few exceptions their pipeline is stocked with bottom six forwards, third pairing d-men, and goalies of modest expectations.

    sure it would be a very fun ride for the unlikely to happen and see the hawks find their way to a cup win. but they will still be a lousy team going forward should that happen. the best path for this team in regards to the future is getting crushed three straight in this bogus, money grab playoffs, bowman being fired, and ending up with an enviable draft position.

  50. I said that to be funny and said it respectfully. I guess words typed cant hear the tone of voice. In the way the dumb and dumber guys would say it. Funny. Your prob looking too much into it.

  51. Agree with you Hawks2010 and Morrison. Get the highest pick possible. The draft is where you build champions. To me you want to stay in the 10 or 11 pick range to get the best talent available. After that it’s a crap-shoot.

  52. No disrespect to nurses or the girl here but really who gives a F if someone asks if there a hit nurse. Lighten up. The virus/stay at home affects is going to people heads more then it should.

    This aint no church choir. This is a hockey club. Ask Kaner.

  53. Joey Z…thanks for your service, bud. “DaysofY”…correcto mundo!!!. Noons96-you chided me for bringing up politics…you must be posting from Beijing ….oh… one more thing…F&$k China!

  54. Go for it Hawks.
    Win a couple rounds and no one will be crabbing about draft picks.

    Far more draft picks do not pan out then those that do, anyway.

    Maybe you draft a Toews.
    Maybe you draft a Kyle Beach.
    You never know.

    But you get hot in the playoffs, especially in a short 5 game series, and Mr. Mentum (Mo) can take you a long way.
    Especially with a money goalie like Crawford.

    Next thing you know, hi caliber talent wants to play on your team.

    But hey what do I know?
    I did not learn anything after 20+ years in the 2nd balcony of the Stadium watching good and bad Hawk teams

  55. Hey guys give me all your respect because I am a stupid fucking drama queen nurse pretending like I am at “war” against a fucking cold. Look at you LOSERS fall over yourselves to show how much you care about my bullshit fake ass life. Newsflash…this overblown bullshit was a way for us to once more say “look at me”. See the front line warriors like me making tick tok movies and Instagram posts? Yeah, that’s how a REAL WAR is fought. I’m pathetic and so are all of you losers.

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