During this indefinite suspension of the 2019-20 season and the rest of the professional sports landscape, the NHL is working to stay relevant and provide some content for their fans around the world. One way they’ve done that is to provide player access to reporters by way of conference video calls, where they can give their thoughts on a variety of subjects. Today’s players were captains from the Pacific Division, including Connor McDavid, Mark Giordano, Bo Horvat and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
The quartet of stars were asked how they would go about resuming play and whether the teams could step right into the playoffs once they’re allowed back on the ice. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet relays McDavid’s answer, which noted that a “fair season’s a full season” and poked fun at the Calgary-Edmonton rivalry.
Horvat, the captain of the Vancouver Canucks, agreed that in order for the season to be deemed “fair” more regular season games would have to be played. As Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press points out however, the Canucks are technically outside the playoff picture at the moment but would get a wildcard spot if the league decided to use points percentage to determine seeding.
While those two focused on how to maintain the season’s credibility, Giordano had a different take on the situation. The Flames’ captain is excited about the idea of the playoffs this year, noting that they would be extremely competitive because every team will be relatively healthy. The 36-year old defenseman has dealt with injuries of his own this season and knows exactly how much of a toll the playoffs can be on a player’s body.
It’s hard to know what the future holds for the NHL at this point, but if the playoffs do ever played you can bet it will be a tournament to watch closely. Not only will health be a factor, but players won’t have a lot of time to shake off the rust before they’re playing elimination games. It could be some of the most compelling hockey in a long time, but we’ll have to wait to find out if it even happens.