Blackhawks: Will the NHL come to an end without playing again in 2020?

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks, NHL (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images) /

News is trickling in, although nothing definitive has been stated, it looks like decisions may be made soon. Sadly, if the reports end up being true, then the Chicago Blackhawks are done until next year.

According to a number of media outlets, Gary Bettman of the NHL may be inching towards officially canceling the regular season. That would end the Chicago Blackhawks season.

According to CBC, the league said,

"“Uncertainty remains a major hurdle, but the NHL is plotting a late summer return with playoff games in empty venues to counteract the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic.”  (CBC)"

The article went on to state that late summer meant August.

However, regular-season play resumes in October, so does this mean they’ll be pushing back the start date for the next season, and playing a shortened schedule when the 2020-2021 season begins?

The league will want to recoup all the revenues they’ve lost as quickly (and as responsibly) as possible, but resuming play in August would create all kinds of issues.

What about the draft for 2019-2020? When would that happen?

If this is the end of 2019-2020, then according to the standings the Blackhawks are currently 23rd place in the league. This might mean that they have a shot at a pick at a great slot for the draft. For a middling team that is trying to rebuild, this might not be so bad.

Bettman said that nothing is definite yet, and these are only scenarios. As the pandemic carries on though, it’s hard not to see how these scenarios don’t become reality.

If the season is indeed over, a lot of players will likely feel robbed. Will this factor into the upcoming negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA when its time to renegotiate the current deal?

Truthfully, the Blackhawks probably weren’t in contention for a post-season birth. That doesn’t mean they’ll be happy about the league’s season-ending this way. They could still have qualified for the playoffs, even if it was a longshot.

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We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, but if the current reports are true then we at least start getting a better sense of what’s to come because news is beginning to trickle out. Hopefully, this isn’t the end of the 2019-2020 season.