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Report: NHL throwing around idea of “one division per city”

We’ve also got details on the 2020 NHL Draft and how it could be tough for the League not to push it back.

Alex Newhook greets NHL commissioner Gary Bettman after being selected as the number sixteen overall pick to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena. Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

It may be difficult for the NHL to keep the 2020 Draft on schedule for June 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated. The League proposed the idea of going ahead with the draft as regularly scheduled. It would keep the league calendar on track with the League year switching on July 1 with free agency. If the draft gets pushed back, then everything would need to move.

There are a bunch of questions surrounding logistics for the draft. Friedman outlined a few in his column. The first is the conditional draft picks based on standings or playoff implications. How would those be dealt with when the teams didn’t finish the season yet? If the draft is held before the end of the season, how do you deal with players who could be traded at the draft for prospects or picks?

The neutral sites thing for an NHL return appears to be dead. So the idea of one NHL city per division to start the regular season back has been thrown around. I’m not so sure that would work out either, but it’s a possibility. One idea Friedman cites is triple-headers each day at each location.