2019–20 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 2, 2019 – March 12, 2020 (Play Suspended)
Number of games Varied
Number of teams 31
Draft
Top draft pick Jack Hughes
Picked by New Jersey Devils
Regular season
Season champions Boston Bruins
Top scorer Leon Draisaitl
Playoffs
Stanley Cup
NHL seasons
2020–21 →

The 2019–20 NHL season is the 103rd season of operation (102nd season of play) of the National Hockey League. The regular season began on October 2, 2019, and was suspended indefinitely on March 12, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 22, 2020, the NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) agreed to a framework for the resumption of play, which would see the remainder of the regular season scrapped, and the top 12 teams in each conference (by points percentage) competing in a modified and expanded Stanley Cup playoffs, which the NHL plans to hold in two centralized "hub cities" with no spectators and only essential staff present.

COVID-19 Pandemic[edit | edit source]

Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic several steps which were affecting the league: On March 9th the NHL, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer jointly announced that reporters would not be allowed in team lockers rooms until further notice. On the same day Santa Clara County, California announced a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people. This policy would directly affect the San Jose Sharks as they play their home games in Santa Clara County and the state of Ohio issued a similar order causing the Columbus Blue Jackets to have to play home games in an empty arena. Indirectly involving the league was the International Ice Hockey Federation announcing on March 8th the cancellation of several women's world championship tournaments including the 2020 Women's Ice Hockey World Championships leading to speculation that the men's 2020 IIHF World Championship will also likely be cancelled shortly thereafter.

The league would announce that it was pausing play for the foreseeable future on March 2, 2020. league joined the NBA and MLS in suspending play MLB would announce that it was pausing their season a few hours later.

League Business[edit | edit source]

Collective Bargaining Agreement[edit | edit source]

The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) will enter into its eighth season. Before the season starts, the NHL can choose to opt out of the CBA on September 1, 2019, or the NHLPA can choose to opt out of the CBA on September 19, 2019. Either way, the CBA would expire in 2020.

Salary cap[edit | edit source]

The Salary Cap will be released in June 2019.

Rule changes[edit | edit source]

The following rule changes were proposed June 19, 2019 and approved the next day:[1][2]

  • The league adopted the David Leggio Rule: deliberately moving the goalposts off its moorings to stop play on a breakaway will result in an awarded goal to the offensive team.
  • In the event a net is inadvertently knocked off its moorings, or if a puck shot from beyond center ice is stopped and frozen by the goaltender, the face-off will take place in the goaltender's defensive zone, with the team on offense given choice of side. In such cases, the defensive team will not be allowed to make a line change.
  • A puck that leaves out of play in the offensive zone will remain in the offensive zone for the next face-off.
  • All major penalties except for fighting will be subject to automatic video review; officials will reserve authority to reduce the penalty to a minor penalty depending on the result of the review.
  • Players that lose their helmet during play must return to the bench as soon as it is feasible until it can be replaced, or the player must retrieve their helmet.

Player and puck tracking technology[edit | edit source]

After testing at the 2019 National Hockey League All-Star Game, the NHL plans to deploy player and puck tracking systems to all 31 NHL arenas prior to the start of the 2019–20 season.[3][4] This technology was developed by SAP and Sportvision, using microchips embedded inside pucks and jerseys. It enables on-air features such as speed displays, puck tracking graphics (reminiscent of the FoxTrax graphics utilized in the late 1990's by previous U.S. national NHL broadcaster Fox, also developed by Sportvision), and marker graphics hovering above players.[5]

Seattle expansion[edit | edit source]

On December 4, 2018, the league officially announced the approval of an expansion team in Seattle, which is planned to begin play in the 2021–22 season. The new Seattle NHL team will be placed in the Pacific Division, pushing the Arizona Coyotes to the Central.[6] The name of the new Seattle team may be announced as early as mid-2019.[7]

Media rights[edit | edit source]

This will be the ninth season under the NHL's ten year deal with NBC Sports and sixth season of its twelve year Canadian rights deal with Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

On January 2, 2019, the Chicago Blackhawks agreed to an exclusive multi-year deal with NBC Sports Chicago beginning with the 2019–20 season, ending the team's broadcasts on WGN-TV.[8]

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios combined to purchase the former Fox Sports regional networks (FSN). Twelve of the NHL's 31 teams (Anaheim, Arizona, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay) carry their television broadcasts through FSN. FSN was one of the properties Fox Corporation's predecessor 21st Century Fox divested in its sale to The Walt Disney Company, but which The Walt Disney Company could not keep due to antitrust concerns. This is Entertainment Studios' first entry into sports, while Sinclair has had a sports operation since 2014 that currently distributes the free-to-air network Stadium and is concurrently expanding into the regional sports network business with its stakes in these networks, YES Network and the upcoming Chicago-based Marquee Sports Network.[9]

Draft[edit | edit source]

The 2019 NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 21 and 22, 2019.

Preseason games in Europe[edit | edit source]

Two preseason games will be played in Europe.[10] The Chicago Blackhawks will play against Eisbären Berlin at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany, on September 29, 2019. The Philadelphia Flyers will play against Lausanne HC at Vaudoise Arena in Lausanne, Switzerland on September 30, 2019.

Coaching changes[edit | edit source]

Coaching changes
Off–season
Team 2018–19 coach 2019–20 coach Story / Accomplishments
Anaheim Ducks Randy Carlyle
Bob Murray*
Dallas Eakins Carlyle was fired on February 10, 2019, after nearly three years after his second stint with the team in which he won the Stanley Cup in 2007, but since then made the playoffs twice. General manager Murray took over as interim coach until the end of the 2018–19 season.[11] Eakins was hired on June 17, 2019. Eakins most recently served as the head coach of the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL) from 2015 to 2019.[12]
Buffalo Sabres Phil Housley Ralph Krueger Housley was fired April 7, 2019, after two seasons and a 58–84–22 record with the Sabres. Housley finished his first season in last place and squandered a 10-game winning streak in his second to collapse and miss the playoffs.[13] Krueger was hired May 15, 2019. He did not coach ice hockey full-time since his only previous NHL coaching stint, a half-season with the Edmonton Oilers in 2013, ended with his firing.[14]
Edmonton Oilers Todd McLellan
Ken Hitchcock*
Dave Tippett Hitchcock was dismissed after Ken Holland became the general manager of the Oilers on May 7, 2019.[15] Tippett was hired on May 28. He last served as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes from 2009 to 2017.[16]
Florida Panthers Bob Boughner Joel Quenneville Boughner was fired on April 7, 2019. In two seasons, the Panthers went 79–62–22 and never qualified for the playoffs under Boughner.[17] On April 8, Quenneville was hired as the team's new head coach. Quenneville most recently served as the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks (2008–2018), and guided them to three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015, while also accumulating an overall record of 797–452–249 with the team.[18]
Los Angeles Kings John Stevens
Willie Desjardins*
Todd McLellan Stevens was fired on November 4, 2018, after starting the season 4–8–1 with only one playoff appearance during his only full season as coach. Former Vancouver Canucks' head coach Desjardins was named the interim coach for the team.[19][20] On April 16, 2019, the team hired McLellan as franchise's 29th head coach. McLellan most recently served as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers (2015–2018) guiding the team to one playoff berth. Overall, McLellan has a 434–282–90 record including a 37–38 postseason record.[21]
Ottawa Senators Guy Boucher
Marc Crawford*
D.J. Smith Boucher was fired on March 1, 2019, after three seasons with the team, his best season being the 2016–17 season when the team reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Crawford, who previously coached the Dallas Stars, was named the Senators' interim head coach.[22] On May 23, the team hired Smith as their head coach. He most recently served as an assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.[23]
Philadelphia Flyers Dave Hakstol
Scott Gordon*
Alain Vigneault Hakstol was fired on December 17, 2018, after three and a half years with the team where he guided them to two playoff appearances. Former New York Islanders' head coach Gordon was named interim coach.[24] Vigneault was hired on April 15, 2019. Vigneault most recently served as the head coach of the New York Rangers, guiding them to a 226–147–37 record in five seasons (2013–2018).[25]
St. Louis Blues Mike Yeo
Craig Berube*
TBD Yeo was fired on November 19, 2018, after almost two years with the team and only one playoff appearance. Berube, who had served as assistant coach with the Blues since 2017, was named interim head coach and led the Blues to their first Stanley Cup.[26]

(*) Indicates interim.

Front office changes[edit | edit source]

General managers
Off–season
Team 2018–19 GM 2019–20 GM Story / Accomplishments
Detroit Red Wings Ken Holland Steve Yzerman Yzerman, who played his entire NHL playing career for the Red Wings and had previously been the team's vice president from 2006 to 2010, returned as general manager April 19, 2019.[27]
Edmonton Oilers Peter Chiarelli
Keith Gretzky*
Ken Holland Chiarelli was fired on January 22, 2019, after four years as the Oilers' general manager. Keith Gretzky, the brother of former NHL player Wayne Gretzky, was named interim general manager.[28] Holland was hired on May 7, 2019.[29]
Vegas Golden Knights George McPhee Kelly McCrimmon McCrimmon was promoted to general manager, effective September 1, 2019, on May 2, 2019. McPhee will remain Director of Hockey Operations for the Golden Knights, but McCrimmon will represent Vegas at league GM meetings and be the point of contact for other league GMs.[30]

(*) Indicates interim.

Regular season[edit | edit source]

The regular season will begin on October 2, 2019, and will end on April 4, 2020.

International games[edit | edit source]

Three regular season games, branded as the NHL Global Series, will be played in Europe.[10] The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers will play their regular season-opening game on October 4, 2019 at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning will play two games at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden on November 8 and 9, 2019.

Outdoor games[edit | edit source]

Three outdoor games have been scheduled for the 2019–20 season:

All-Star game[edit | edit source]

The 2020 National Hockey League All-Star Game will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Enterprise Center, the home of the St. Louis Blues on January 26, 2020, as the All-Star Game will return to Sunday.[34]

Uniforms[edit | edit source]

  • To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the franchise in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks unveiled brand new home and away jerseys that will be worn during the season. The Canucks will also wear brand new third jerseys for select games. Finally, the Canucks will wear their 1990s throwback jerseys for select games. The design was chosen via an online vote over two other throwback jersey options.[35]

Standings[edit | edit source]

Eastern Conference

Pos. Team GP W L OL RW GF GA Pct.
1 Boston Bruins 70 44 14 12 38 227 174 .714
2 Tampa Bay Lightning 70 43 21 6 35 245 195 .657
3 Washington Capitals 69 41 20 8 31 240 215 .652
4 Philadelphia Flyers 69 41 21 7 31 232 196 .645
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 69 40 23 6 29 224 196 .623
6 Carolina Hurricanes 68 38 25 5 27 222 193 .596
7 New York Islanders 68 35 23 10 24 192 193 .588
8 Toronto Maple Leafs 70 36 25 9 28 238 227 .579
9 Columbus BlueJackets 70 33 22 15 25 180 187 .579
10 Florida Panthers 69 35 26 8 30 231 228 .565
11 New York Rangers 70 37 28 5 31 234 222 .564
12 Montreal Canadiens 71 31 31 9 19 212 221 .500
13 Buffalo Sabres 69 30 31 8 22 195 217 .493
14 New Jersey Devils 69 28 29 12 22 189 230 .493
15 Ottawa Senators 71 25 34 12 18 191 243 .437
16 Detroit Red Wings 71 17 49 5 13 145 267 .275

Western Conference

Pos. Team GP W L OL RW GF GA Pct.
1 St.Louis Blues 71 42 19 10 33 225 193 .662
2 Colorado Avalanche 70 42 20 8 37 237 191 .657
3 Vegas Golden Knights 71 39 24 8 30 227 211 .606
4 Dallas Stars 69 37 24 8 26 180 177 .594
5 Edmonton Oilers 71 37 25 9 31 225 217 .585
6 Nashville Predators 69 35 26 8 28 215 217 .565
7 Vancouver Canucks 69 36 27 6 27 228 217 .565
8 Calgary Flames 70 36 27 7 25 210 215 .564
9 Winnipeg Jets 71 37 28 6 30 216 203 .563
10 Minnesota Wild 69 35 27 7 30 220 220 .558
11 Arizona Coyotes 70 33 29 8 26 195 187 .529
12 Chicago Blackhawks 70 32 30 8 23 212 218 .514
13 Anaheim Ducks 71 29 33 9 20 187 226 .472
14 Los Angeles Kings 70 29 35 6 21 178 212 .457
15 San Jose Sharks 70 29 36 5 22 182 226 .450

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2019/6/20/18694572/nhl-gary-bettman-announces-new-rules-for-next-season-video-review-offsides-coaches-challenge
  2. https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-announces-rule-changes-for-2019-20-season/c-307949196
  3. Whyno, Stephen. NHL gets into data game (en). Associated Press. Toronto Star.
  4. Hornick, Matt. "Gary Bettman announces puck, player tracking for 2019-20 NHL season", Sporting News, January 25, 2019. Retrieved on January 27, 2019. 
  5. Kerschbaumer, Ken. NHL About To Enter New Era of Statistical Insight via On-Bench App Developed by League, Apple, SAP (en).
  6. Chiappelli, Kirstie. "Seattle lands NHL expansion team starting in 2021-22 season", Sporting News, December 4, 2018. Retrieved on December 5, 2018. 
  7. "When? Where? Name? A look at Seattle's NHL expansion team", Associated Press, USA Today, December 4, 2018. 
  8. "NBC Sports Chicago Announces New Pact With White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks", WMAQ-TV, January 2, 2019. Retrieved on January 4, 2019. 
  9. Littleton, Cynthia. Sinclair Clinches Disney-Regional Sports Networks Deal, Byron Allen Joins as Partner (en).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Flyers, Blackhawks to open 2019-20 regular season in Prague; Sabres, Lightning face off in Stockholm in November (March 21, 2019). Retrieved on March 21, 2019.
  11. Ducks Executive VP/GM Murray to Assume Interim Head Coaching Position (February 10, 2019). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  12. Ducks Name Eakins Head Coach (June 17, 2019). Retrieved on June 18, 2019.
  13. Sabres relieve Housley of coaching duties (April 7, 2019). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  14. Sabres name Ralph Krueger head coach (May 15, 2019). Retrieved on May 15, 2019.
  15. BLOG: Finding a coach is Holland's first priority (May 7, 2019). Retrieved on May 8, 2019.
  16. RELEASE: Oilers name Dave Tippett head coach (May 28, 2019). Retrieved on May 28, 2019.
  17. Florida Panthers Relieve Head Coach Bob Boughner of Duties (April 7, 2019). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  18. Florida Panthers Name Joel Quenneville Head Coach (April 8, 2019). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  19. Willie Desjardins Named Head Coach; John Stevens Relieved of His Duties (November 4, 2018). Retrieved on April 8, 2018.
  20. GM Blake Thanks Desjardins for Serving as Interim Head Coach (April 7, 2019). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  21. Todd McLellan Named Head Coach of LA Kings. NHL Enterprises, L. P. (April 16, 2019). Retrieved on April 16, 2019.
  22. Marc Crawford named interim head coach of rebuilding Ottawa Senators (March 1, 2019). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  23. Ottawa Senators name D.J. Smith as head coach (May 23, 2019). Retrieved on May 23, 2019.
  24. Hakstol fired as coach of Flyers (December 17, 2018). Retrieved on April 8, 2018.
  25. Flyers name Alain Vigneault head coach (April 15, 2019). Retrieved on April 15, 2019.
  26. Yeo relieved of duties, Berube named interim head coach (November 19, 2018). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  27. Steve Yzerman named GM. Detroit Red Wings. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  28. Oilers fire Chiarelli after three-and-a-half seasons (January 22, 2019). Retrieved on April 8, 2019.
  29. RELEASE: Ken Holland named Oilers GM and President of Hockey Operations (May 7, 2019). Retrieved on May 8, 2019.
  30. Kelly McCrimmon Named General Manager Of The Vegas Golden Knights (en-US).
  31. Bettman announces that Regina will host 2019 Heritage Classic (en). Regina Leader-Post (January 1, 2019).
  32. Dallas Stars To Host 2020 Bridgestone Winter Classic At Cotton Bowl Stadium (January 1, 2019). Retrieved on January 1, 2019.
  33. LA Kings To Play Avalanche At Air Force Academy. KCBS-TV (January 25, 2019). Retrieved on January 25, 2019.
  34. Thomas, Jim. "It's official: NHL All-Star Game coming to St. Louis in 2020", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 1, 2019. Retrieved on January 27, 2019. 
  35. Blackburn, Pete (August 13, 2018). LOOK: Vancouver Canucks are bringing back the Flying Skate as a throwback jersey. CBS Sprots.
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