The NHL Draft
Seemingly out of nowhere, the NHL has confirmed that the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery will be taking place on Friday, June 26th at 8pm ET on all the major networks.
Phase 1 of the 2020 #NHLDraft Lottery set for this Friday, June 26, at 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN & NHL Network in U.S., Sportsnet & TVA Sports in Canada).— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 22, 2020
Details: https://t.co/lEgOKahYE9 pic.twitter.com/DdAtULhygM
The league is actually going ahead with their idea of lettered team slots for the eight losers in the non-playoffs Play-In. So if “Team C” wins the lottery (their odds are listed in the press release), we won’t know which team it is until the Play-In happens and another lottery between those eight losers is conducted. If three lettered teams win all three lotteries, they’ll be organized by points percentage.
Seriously, this is like putting the cart before the horse and then making the horse skip sideways out of an Austin Powers parking spot. I know my analogy doesn’t make sense, I don’t care, we haven’t had hockey in forever.
Will you be watching the Draft Lottery?
This poll is closed
Hub Cities and Return to Play
The list of potential NHL hub cities is down from 10 to six with Pittsburgh and Dallas being told they will not be hosting the playoffs yesterday. They join Flavortown and St. Paul as the teams who have been told they’re out of the running. That leaves Vegas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Chicago as potential destinations.
Dallas and Pittsburgh have also been informed they are no longer in the Hub city process, joining Columbus and Minnesota on the outs. The six that remain are Vegas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, LA and Chicago.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 23, 2020
There has been a lock of jockeying from owners, media, and local government officials in a hope of lobbying the NHL to come to their city.
Edmonton has been going hard with the tactic of selling Edmonton as a beautiful destination by making videos featuring cities and landmarks hours away from Edmonton. The Rocky Mountains are farther from Edmonton than the Grand Canyon is from Vegas for crying out loud.
It’s the obvious choice to bring the @NHL to #Edmonton.— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) June 22, 2020
We look forward to welcoming the league and players here to Alberta to take in the beautiful province we have to offer. pic.twitter.com/kp0iN86vCP
Toronto has reportedly been told their bubble proposal isn’t contained enough and their owners MLSE have come back with a better proposal using the city’s exhibition grounds and home of the AHL Toronto Marlies among other secluded areas.
I still think at this point Vegas, Vancouver and Edmonton have pulled ahead of Toronto but MLSE has certainly tried to answer NHL/NHLPA concerns with the new updated bid...— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 23, 2020
While TSN is cure Vegas and Vancouver are at the front of the pack in terms of setting up shop, Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston of Sportsnet say both have hit snags in their proposals as well.
Which Hub City is your choice?
This poll is closed
NHL CBA Extension Progress
And in the quietest story of the century, it looks like the NHL could already have a new CBA ready to go years ahead of time (or at least a Memo of Understanding). The NHL and NHLPA have been busy during this pause to get both their Return to Play Protocol and CBA extension agreed upon. Both could require the full 800-player NHLPA vote, so some are wondering if the players will be asked to vote on both at the same time.
Per my understanding, the CBA extension would kick in next season and go for six years, ending in the summer of 2027. This would allow key aspects like a cap on escrow to be implemented immediately. Escrow takes a percentage of a player’s salary off their paychecks during the year. Once the season’s revenue is counted, a different percentage is given back (lower or higher than the original) in order to make the 50/50 revenue split work between the players and owners.
It sounds like there will be a 20% cap on escrow, meaning players will be guaranteed 80% of their salaries upfront. As the league is preparing for a major revenue hit, it was vital to get this done as soon as possible. The Olympics was another topic of conversation, though progress on that is unknown.
Our At Elevation Podcast is back with a new episode. This week, Adrian spoke with Ryan Clark of The Athletic to discuss his approach to covering the Avalanche as well as how he feels the NHL is handling race relations within the sport of hockey. It’s a great episode and we are thankful Ryan took the time to speak with us.