Over the last week, fans voted on whether or not they think the 2019-20 NHL season will resume at some point. Despite the league being shut down to protect against the COVID-19 pandemic, the results show that fans are confident it will and that we will see a Stanley Cup champion crowned in the coming months - I don’t share their optimism.
While the fans think we will see the season get back under way. most believe we will see the NHL jump straight to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, per our latest SB Nation FanPulse voting results. An overwhelming majority of 86% of respondents think the NHL will not complete the regular season due to the COVID-19 scare that has put the hockey season, and other professional leagues, on pause.
While this group of fans is optimistic that the NHL will be able to complete some semblance of the 2020 playoffs, they also think that the 2020-21 season will begin on time. It doesn’t seem logical that these two opinions can work in concert. If the NHL is going to hold a 2020 playoffs, it’s not going to be until the summer. Given that timeline, it’s hard to see how the next season can possibly start by the beginning of October as currently planned.
Give then current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, I think these fans are far too optimistic. At this point it seems incredibly unlikely that we will get an more hockey this season - particularly if the NHL is committed to a complete 82 game schedule for the 2020-21 season.
Maybe it’s good to be optimistic, or maybe it’s just wishful thinking. I just don’t see it.