Two weeks ago all was rolling along as planned and the Golden Knights were 11 games away from claiming their second Pacific Division title in franchise history. Then, the NHL hit the pause button, quite literally. Then, on March 12th, the season was halted, the season suspended, and the league calendar put in complete limbo.
Normally, the season ends, the playoffs start, then there’s a draft, free agency, training camp and we’re onto the next season.
This year, who knows?
Kelly McCrimmon, speaking on the Hockey Hotline with Brian Blessing, has no idea when the league will pick back up, nor is he even sure it will, but he does have an expectation as to how the calendar will look once it does.
The sequence of the events, I expect, will roll out in the same order. I can’t tell you what the dates of those events will be but I would expect that we wouldn’t have the NHL Draft until the season was over. There’s still going to be a window in there for free agency, which wouldn’t happen until the NHL Draft is over. -Kelly McCrimmon on Vegas Hockey Hotline
McCrimmon did qualify his expectations, indicating that he had not been told this by the league.
And again, that’s only speculation on my part, but I expect that the sequence of events will remain the same. The uncertainty would be exactly when those would be. -McCrimmon on Vegas Hockey Hotline
Last year, here’s how the calendar rolled out.
April 6th – Last day of regular season
April 9th – NHL Draft lottery
April 10th – Stanley Cup Playoffs begin
April 27th – NHL Scouting Combine begins
June 12th – Final day of Stanley Cup
June 19th – NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas
June 21-22 – NHL Draft
July 1st – Free agency opens
August 6th – Deadline for RFA salary arbitration
Now here we are on March 25th and the NHL is talking about playing hockey in August.
According to McCrimmon, everything is likely to remain in order, which would make the most sense. But, the timeline is probably going to be incredibly tight and one has to wonder how much overlap there might be.
No matter whether the season resumes or not, there is a lot of business that still needs to be conducted and there won’t be a lot of time to do it. Plus, there are plenty of unanswered questions that are constantly being asked but always met with the same response of “it’s too soon to tell.”
How many of these events get canceled? (Awards, Combine, Development Camp)
How does the Draft order work if the season isn’t completed?
What happens to conditional picks if the conditions could reasonably be met?
And the list goes on and on and on.
All will have to be answered. Some will end up with good results for Vegas, some will not.
As for the men in charge of the Golden Knights, they simply have to sit, wait, and prepare for anything. Easier said than done.