The 2019-2020 Carolina Hurricanes regular season is officially over.
According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman the 2019-2020 NHL regular season is officially in the books with a new focus now being on the playoffs. What does that mean for the Carolina Hurricanes?
The regular season is dead. Long live the playoffs.
Well at least the Carolina Hurricanes hope that the playoffs will be a long-lived one. With the New York Rangers, their regular series nemeses, waiting for them in the play-in series, smacking their lips at the idea of an easy cheating chance at the Stanley Cup, this may be easier said than done.
But consider this, the Hurricanes/ Whalers have never faced the Rangers in the playoffs. Ever. Perhaps they really should do less lip-smacking and go watch the tape on the Canes in the playoffs and understand that this team becomes a different beast in the post-season.
The commissioner also confirmed that the playoffs will be relegated to two cities for the two conferences.
Remember when I broke down the phases and it was mentioned that none of this would even happen if players can’t get home and get medical clearance? That is still in play. But we did get more clearance on phase three, or training camp. As of now, it won’t happen any earlier than July 1st. Meaning that it won’t be until halfway through July that we start to see any real hockey.
That means that playoffs will probably run into September and maybe even October before we see the Stanley Cup Awarded.
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This domino effect isn’t done here either. The draft lottery won’t happen until after the first “play-in” round is done. This is because, as I speculated earlier today, the losers of the play-in round will also be considered for the lottery, potentially giving teams the opportunity to both compete in the playoffs and win the lottery. Teams like the Carolina Hurricanes.
But the draft itself won’t happen until after the playoffs are done and complete. Meaning in October or even November. Think about that. European prospects might already start their next season before getting drafted, then get called up to the NHL in the middle of their season. This can really mess up a lot of mock drafts as these kids either have slow starts or explosive starts.
For any NHL GM this can be a nightmare. How could you possibly be objective and ignore the new season for these prospects, and how can you value that extra play? But I am getting well ahead of myself.
For now let’s consider the final domino to fall. That is the fact that next season will start in November at the earliest. Kind of undoes that whole “teams in a playoff spot by American Thanksgiving usually makes the playoffs” mythos. Or does it?
At the end of the year, we will look back at this mess of a season’s ending and know for a fact if we made the right choice. Will Bettman and the NHLPA be on the right side of history, or will this serve to be a cautionary tale that will haunt this league until the dust settles for the last time on this planet?
Question for CC Readers: What are your concerns, if any, about this plan?