The coronavirus continues to take a bite out of the NHL calendar. The league announced Wednesday afternoon that it is postponing the NHL Draft, the Scouting Combine, the draft lottery and the NHL Awards show.
The 2020 draft had been scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal; the scouting combine was scheduled for June 1-6 in Buffalo, and the awards show for June 18 in Las Vegas. The draft lottery had been tentatively scheduled for April 9, which prior to the coronavirus would’ve been the week following the conclusion of the regular season.
“The location, timing and format of the 2020 NHL Draft (and draft lottery) will be announced when details are finalized,” the NHL said in a statement.
But it looks like there will be no “makeup date” for the awards show, which obviously low on the league’s priority list.
“With respect to the Bridgestone NHL Awards, the league looks forward to returning to Las Vegas in the future,” the NHL said. “Las Vegas has been the home of the Bridgestone NHL Awards since 2009.”
The status of the NHL scouting combine is murkier, with no mention of possibly rescheduling the timing, testing, and interviewing event.
“I assume it will be subject to when/if we play again in the 2019-20 season and what the general rules are for travel and gatherings of people,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch. “The league isn’t making any long-term plans at this time.”
Things are less complicated with the draft and the draft lottery, because those events can easily be done on the phone. The draft lottery decides the selection order of the 15 teams that did not qualify for the playoffs.
After not picking until the end of the second round last season, the Blues have a first-round pick in this year’s draft.