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Return To Play Roundup For VGK

The NHL rolled out their plans on how they will conduct the playoffs, the Draft Lottery, and much more. Here’s a quick roundup of what it all means for the Vegas Golden Knights.

  • The 2019-20 regular season is over
    • Golden Knights officially become Pacific Division Champions
    • Final four home games are canceled. Ticket office sent out an email to fans with tickets telling them another is coming by the end of the week with information on refunds/credits
    • Team has begun process of distributing money set aside for arena workers
  • 24 team playoff with eight automatically qualified for the round of 16
    • Vegas is among the eight to have qualified
    • Golden Knights will play a round-robin against the other three teams (Colorado, St. Louis, and Dallas) to determine seeding
  • Two hub cities will be used to host playoff games
    • Las Vegas was listed among the 10 potential hub cities.
    • The league made it clear their preference is to have any team from a hub city to NOT play their games in that city. Thus, if Las Vegas is selected, the Golden Knights will likely play in the other hub city.
  • Elliotte Friedman reported each team will play two exhibition games prior to the quasi-first round and round-robin.
  • NHL announced modified Draft Lottery system
    • This has no effect on the Golden Knights.
  • New contracts will not be allowed for the 2019-20 playoffs
    • Jack Dugan will not be able to sign with the Golden Knights and participate in the playoffs. His contract will begin in 2020-21.
  • The NHL did not place dates on anything, but the current plan is aiming for the playoffs to begin in late July to early August.

Previous Podcast #197: Return To Play


Golden Knights Playoff Roster And Lineup Projections


  1. DOC Williams

    I am confused on the idea a “hub city” team could not play games IN their city? Is this referring to just the conf. final & cup final? If it applies to all games then how the hell would that work? If Las Vegas is selected & VGK can’t play ANY games here, that means moving them & the other 3 round robin teams to another city????? It doesn’t make sense to me!

    • Due to the pandemic, the NHL is planning on playing games without fans for the foreseeable future. So, to contain the spread of the virus among players, they plan on housing the 12 Western Conference teams in one “hub city” and the 12 Eastern Conference teams in the other. This limits travel as well as allows them to have the fewest number of people necessary to put on the games.

      For fairness, the league would prefer all 24 teams are on an equal playing field, so no one plays in their own city. Thus, if Vegas is selected as a hub city, the Golden Knights will play their games in the other hub city. This includes the round robin games, the playoff games, and eventually the conference finals and Cup finals should they make it that far.

      • DOC Williams

        So Ken, lets say Las Vegas & Columbus are selected. Knights go to Columbus. Since they have to play all their games (until cup final) against WC teams, that means each WC team in Vegas has to fly TO Columbus when they play the Knights?????? OR Knights are still hubbed here but must fly somewhere to play a game(s). Makes no sense to me. Can you explain HOW this would work to me, as if I was a old man on meds, please!

        • No no no. C’mon Doc. Simplify it.

          If they choose Columbus and Vegas, all Eastern Conference teams come to Vegas and never leave. All Western Conference teams go to Columbus and never leave.

          There will be no travel for anyone aside from the initial travel to get to the hub city.

      • Walt

        makes NO sense, Ken. That only INCREASES travel, and restriction problems, because the Knights would be playing western conference opponents all the way thru until the SC finals, thus ALL the other western teams would also have to relocate to another far off hub along with VGK. Vancouver, VGK, Arizona etc would have to travel to Columbus, or Carolina, or Toronto??? ridiculous…and the players complain about them being too isolated from their families, THAT would really exacerbate that problem.

        and since there won’t be any fans, there is little home ice advantage in having a local hub.

        and, in fact, IF there is no reseeding, and IF there is a 5 game first round in the final 16 playoff, then those 2 things also work against the top teams.

        It is very simple. The hub should be local, all the series after the play-in MUST be 7 games, and there should be reseeding, not brackets.

        • Yes, all West teams go to one hub (that is not Vegas) and all East teams come to Vegas. It does not increase travel at all. There will be the exact same number of flights they’ll just last a little bit longer.

          The players will not be able to see their families no matter where they play so the difference in distance makes absolutely no difference.

          Maybe there is any home-ice advantage without fans, maybe there isn’t. From the league perspective, they have the ability to guarantee to eliminate it by sending the hub hosts elsewhere if they are participating. Why not do that?

  2. Daryl

    So, if Vegas and another hub team make the Cup, why would it not be ok if the two teams played a regular Cup finals in each others home town

    • Why not just pick a third city and play it there?

      • Daryl

        I still like the idea of a regular played Cup…. they’re is still home team advantage even without the ice

      • Mike StG

        The scenario of NO teams playing in their home city seems unlikely. Nine of the ten proposed hub cities are playoff cities. Only LA is not. To make it happen, all EC teams would need to play in the West hub and vice versa. Bettman did add that if a team was playing in their home city they would have to stay in hotel, not in their personal homes. So he didn’t preclude teams playing in their home city.

        • Why is it not possible to have the East teams go West and the West teams go East?

          • Mike StG

            It IS possible, and basically the only way for a team not to play in their home city. Bettman seemed by his response to indicate it wasn’t a deal breaker and that the “home” team players would not get to go home to family but would stay in hotels like other teams’ players.

  3. Harold Kennedy

    I haven’t read the full press release but are they going to allow teams to carry more players in case of injuries since the AHL is not in the picture?

  4. DOC Williams

    Ok so, I thought that the WC teams would be hubbed at WC city & EC teams at EC city. Now, if that’s not true, then yes, putting them in opposite conference city would work ….. I guess? Damn Ken, you know my brain can only handle so much info per 24 hrs!!!! 🙂

  5. Larry

    Thanks, Ken. As is usually the case, you have simplified things and carried the water, so all I have to do is impatiently wait foe VGK to some Hockey’n❤️Go Knights Go

  6. Tim

    After hearing we couldn’t play at home if Vegas is a hub city then L.A. makes the most sense as the western hub city.

  7. Bob

    I don’t understand why it would be considered a competitive advantage for the Knights to play their games in Vegas (or any other team playing in their home city), when there aren’t any fans there. Presumably, the Knights would still stay at the hotels just like the rest of the teams. Familiarity with T-Mobile arena might give the slightest of edges, but I don’t think that holds much weight.

    Perhaps the bigger reason for doing this would be from a public health perspective – an effort to avoid large groups of people gathering outside T-Mobile arena during Knights games.

    • If there’s no advantage, why do care whether the Golden Knights play in Vegas or not?

      • Bob

        That’s the thing, I don’t care whether the Knights play in Vegas. I’m just trying to understand why the NHL does.

        • Many people believe there is an advantage to playing in a home rink. Whether or not they are correct, it’s safer to just eliminate it from the list of variables. Logistically it changes almost nothing, so why not just do it and be safe.

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