We are eager to return to normalcy. Being cooped up doesn’t sound like too much fun, because it isn’t. We’re ready for the season to return, we’re eager for the Oilers to try and make some hay in the playoffs.
With almost everything shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are more eager than ever for the NHL season to return, if for no other reason than to take our minds away from the current situation. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen for at least a couple of months. It might be longer.
That didn’t stop some players from coming up with a scenario that would see NHL action return sometime in July.
I think this is a bit ambitious.
I’m not ready to write off the season just yet, but there’s a lot of hurdles that need to be jumped before anything like this can be considered. I know there’s a handful of clubs who are on the playoff bubble, but the three weeks it will take to complete the regular season have us going to August in this model.
A two-month playoff period has us going to September, with an off-season period containing the draft and free agency filling up October. Finally, the 2020-21 season would begin in what I can only guess would be early November. An 82 game schedule would take us to the middle of July.
Could it work? Sure. Would it tangle up the NHL calendar for the next two seasons? Yes.
More importantly, is it worth it?
Would a team like Detroit gain anything from playing three more weeks at the end of July?
SAFETY FIRST, NEVER LAST
First and foremost, we need to get on the other side of the current health pandemic. If (once we get there) it becomes feasible to play out the season using a schedule similar to above, would you want to? Or, should the NHL focus on free agency, a draft, and forego a season that would almost certainly have seen the Oilers make the postseason?
I’d like to see the Oilers make a run at the playoffs, but there’s got to be a bounce date where it all stops making sense. If we lose three or four months in the calendar, does it make sense to try and play the string out, or should we move on to next season?