National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman provided definition to the league’s plan to resume play later this summer in a nationally televised address Tuesday afternoon.
The key takeaways for LA Kings fans:
– The Kings’ season is officially over
– Voting on league awards will consider current statistics
– The Kings will learn where they’ll draft on June 26 (Phase 1 of the draft lottery)
– They have a 9.5% of winning the first overall pick
– Los Angeles is under consideration as one of two “hub” cities
Some details of the Return To Play Plan remain fluid, such as the hub cities and dates and whether first and second round series will be best-of-five or best-of-seven formats. More logistics will fall into place as players return to their club’s training facility in Phase 2 (early June) and Phase 3 (early July). This isn’t any confirmation that hockey will return later this summer, but rather the agreed-upon structure of play if/when play resumes. Lots to come as we breathe this in.
“We are honored to be included in consideration as an NHL hub city,” said Kelly Cheeseman, Chief Operating Officer for the LA Kings. “We know LA Live and Staples Center will be well prepared given their collective history of hosting showcase events, so we look forward to the outcome.”
* The 2019-20 regular season is declared concluded through games of March 11. The 189 games originally scheduled from March 12 – April 4 will not be played.
* 24 teams will resume play: the top 12 in each Conference on the basis of points percentage at the pause (through games of March 11).
* Since the League’s pause on March 12, the League has been in Phase 1 with teams having been instructed to self-isolate as much as possible.
Phase 2 – Early June
* In early June, it is expected that teams will be permitted to return to home facilities for small group, voluntary, and on- and off-ice training.
Phase 3 – Not Earlier than First Half of July
* Not earlier than first half of July, formal training camps will begin after guidance from medical and civil authorities.
Phase 4 – Timing TBD
* 24 teams in 2 “hub” cities will compete in Seeding Round Robins, a Qualifying Round and Conference-based Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The NHL Draft Lottery will determine the order for the first 15 selections of the 2020 NHL Draft. The picks will be awarded to the seven teams that do not resume play and the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that acquired their first-round picks).
* Phase 1 of the Draft Lottery will be conducted prior to the Qualifying Round on Friday, June 26.
* Three draws: First Draw (first overall pick), Second Draw (second overall pick) and Third Draw (third overall pick).
* Clubs entered: The seven teams that do not return to play, ranked in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause, and eight “place-holders” to represent the to-be-determined Qualifying Round teams that will not advance, thus maintaining previously-established odds.
Team / P% / Odds
1. Detroit Red Wings .275 18.5%
2. Ottawa Senators .437 13.5%
3. Ottawa Senators* .437 11.5%
4. Los Angeles Kings .457 9.5%
5. Anaheim Ducks .472 8.5%
6. New Jersey Devils .493** 7.5%
7. Buffalo Sabres .493** 6.5%
8. Team A n/a 6.0%
9. Team B n/a 5.0%
10. Team C n/a 3.5%
11. Team D n/a 3.0%
12. Team E n/a 2.5%
13. Team F n/a 2.0%
14. Team G n/a 1.5%
15. Team H n/a 1.0%
* Acquired in a trade with San Jose Sharks (.450 points percentage)
** Buffalo Sabres ranked higher than New Jersey Devils on the basis of higher regulation/OT win percentage (Buffalo, .406 ROW%; New Jersey, .348 ROW%)
* If the winning team of the First Draw is from the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
* If the winning team of the First Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the first overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.
* After the First Draw, the winning team (from either the #1-7 group or the #8-15 group) will no longer be eligible for the Second or Third Draws. All number combinations originally assigned to this team will become “Re-Draw Combinations” for the Second and Third Draws. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the Second Draw based on which team wins the First Draw.
* If the winning team of the Second Draw is from among the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the second overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
* If the winning team of the Second Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the second overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.
* After the Second Draw, the winning team (from either the #1-7 group or the #8-15 group) will no longer be eligible for the Third Draw. All number combinations originally assigned to this team will become “Re-Draw Combinations” for the Third Draw. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the Third Draw based on which team wins the Second Draw.
* If the winning team of the Third Draw is from among the #1-7 group above, that team wins the right to the third overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
* If the winning team of the Third Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the third overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.
If All Three Draws Are Won by Teams in #1-7 Group . . .
* The winning teams receive the respective top three selections in the 2020 NHL Draft. The remaining four teams in the #1-7 group not selected in the three draws are assigned NHL Draft positions 4 through 7 in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause. The next eight Draft positions (8 through 15) will be assigned to the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round, in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause. In these circumstances, Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery would not be necessary.
If Any of the Three Draws Are Won by Teams in the #8-15 Group . . .
* The Draws for the corresponding selections will be conducted during Phase 2 among only the eight Qualifying Round teams that failed to advance.
* Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery, if necessary, will be conducted between the Qualifying Round and First Round.
* Phase 2 participants: the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that acquired their first-round picks).
* Following each Phase 2 draw, the winning team will be assigned the corresponding Top 3 selection and, if another Phase 2 draw is necessary, that team’s numbered lottery ball will be removed.
* When all Phase 1 and Phase 2 draws are completed and the Top 3 selections in the 2020 NHL Draft assigned, the remaining selections in the Top 15 will be assigned to the 12 teams that did not win a draw in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the season’s pause.
* In each Phase 2 draw, all participants will have the same odds.
* In each Conference, teams are seeded by points percentage.
Round Robin: The top 4 teams play for First Round seeding (regular-season overtime rules in effect)
Qualifying Round: The remaining 8 teams play best-of-5 series to advance to the First Round (playoff overtime rules in effect)
First Round and Second Round: Format (seeding vs. bracket) and series lengths to be determined
Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final: Best-of-7 series
* The winners from the Qualifying Round play the top 4 seeds in the First Round. Individual First Round series matchups remain to be determined.
Team / Points Percentage
1. Boston Bruins 714
2. Tampa Bay Lightning .657
3. Washington Capitals .652
4. Philadelphia Flyers .645
5. Pittsburgh Penguins .623
6. Carolina Hurricanes .596
7. New York Islanders .588
8. Toronto Maple Leafs .579
9. Columbus Blue Jackets .579
10. Florida Panthers .565
11. New York Rangers .564
12. Montreal Canadiens .500
City 1 – Round Robin for Seeding in First Round
1. Boston Bruins
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Washington Capitals
4. Philadelphia Flyers
City 1 – Best-of-5 Qualifying Round
#5 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #12 Montreal Canadiens
#6 Carolina Hurricanes vs. #11 New York Rangers
#7 New York Islanders vs. #10 Florida Panthers
#8 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. #9 Columbus Blue Jackets
Team / Conf. Rank / P%
1. St. Louis Blues .662
2. Colorado Avalanche .657
3. Vegas Golden Knights .606
4. Dallas Stars .594
5. Edmonton Oilers .585
6. Nashville Predators .565
7. Vancouver Canucks .565
8. Calgary Flames .564
9. Winnipeg Jets .563
10. Minnesota Wild .558
11. Arizona Coyotes .529
12. Chicago Blackhawks .514
City 2 – Round Robin for Seeding in First Round
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Colorado Avalanche
3. Vegas Golden Knights
4. Dallas Stars
City 2 – Best-of-5 Qualifying Round
#5 Edmonton Oilers vs. #12 Chicago Blackhawks
#6 Nashville Predators vs. #11 Arizona Coyotes
#7 Vancouver Canucks vs. #10 Minnesota Wild
#8 Calgary Flames vs. #9 Winnipeg Jets
HUB CITIES UNDER CONSIDERATION
* The 2 “hub” cities will be selected from among the following:
– Chicago, IL
– Columbus, OH
– Dallas, TX
– Edmonton, AB
– Las Vegas, NV
– Los Angeles, CA
– Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
– Pittsburgh, PA
– Toronto, ON
– Vancouver, BC
* Each Conference is assigned a “hub” city with secure hotels, arena, practice facilities and in-market transportation.
* Teams will be limited to 50 personnel in the “hub” city with only a small number of support staff permitted to enter the event areas.
* Timing and sites will be determined at a future date and will be dependent on COVID-19 conditions, testing ability and government regulations.