With hockey season suspended for the time being as the country grapples with the coronavirus crisis, the NHL draft, combine and awards have all been postponed in response.
The league announced Wednesday that the June events will now take place at a later date, which are yet to be finalized. An official location of the draft, initially set for June 26-27 in Montreal, appears to be in question as well.
“The National Hockey League today announced the postponements of the 2020 NHL Scouting Combine, the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Awards, and the 2020 NHL Draft, which were originally scheduled for June 1-6 in Buffalo, N.Y., June 18 in Las Vegas, and June 26-27 in Montreal, respectively, due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus,” reads an official release. “The location, timing and format of the 2020 NHL Draft (and Draft Lottery) will be announced when details are finalized.”
League officials have been sporadically providing updates as to the NHL’s paused operations and outlook for resuming the season. In a new Q&A form released this week, the league wrote that all players are staying in a mandated self-quarantine until March 27, though others may opt to isolate themselves for longer depending on health status and recent travel.
“The form and format of resumption of play scenarios will depend entirely on what transpires between now and when we are permitted and able to resume — and, ultimately, on timing and taking into account logistical constraints,” the league said regarding its timeline for returning. “We are going to have to be flexible and react to events as they unfold as well as the best medical advice available.”
Should the NHL carry out its remaining slate of regular season games upon returning to the ice, the schedule for the Stanley Cup playoffs will be pushed back significantly, therefore leading to the postponement of the scouting combine, draft and awards ceremony.