The National Hockey Players Association confirmed on May 22nd that they’ve agreed to extended negotiations with the NHL Corporate Division. These negotiations regarding a new Playoff Format, which would see twenty-four teams compete for the Stanley Cup throughout the 2019-20 Season. The new format would be issued for the 2021-22 NHL Season if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t concluded at that point.

Player Representatives from each NHL Team negotiated with the Board of Executives. Insiders noted that the NHL Player’s Association made several demands that the Corporate Division cannot abide. This has created difficulties in both parties reach a mutual agreement, forcing the extension on negotiations. There are some hockey analysts now questioning if both parties will sign a format contract, with them instead of worrying about personal glory and allowing the upcoming season to be entirely cancelled.

The tense relationship between the NHL Player’s Association, and Corporate Division has increased drastically since the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the 2019-20 Season into postponement by March 12th. There hasn’t been an official announcement when hockey matches will resume throughout North America. It requires extensive logistics that are hard to overcome, including a co-partnership between the American and Canadian Division of the National Hockey League. Considering that both countries are also at odds during the pandemic, the likelihood of this goal being accomplished is dismal.

Logistical Challenges

Health Experts with the Centre of Disease Control, Politician’s in the America Government, and the Canadian National Hockey Association will have to approve the new format issued by the corporate division. That’s if the NHL Player’s Association can sign a formal agreement with their employers. It should be noted that whenever national hockey in North America resumes, attendees won’t be permitted. Stadiums in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Las Vegas will remain empty in the stands.

Creating this new format goes against the core design of National Hockey. There aren’t 24 Outfits competing for the Stanley Cup, with the standard number being eight per conference. An additional eight teams are being permitted to compete. This could create considerable confusion for supporters of the NHL. We’ll provide our readers with an update on if these two parties make a formal agreement.

Supporters behind the National Hockey League were disappointed but not surprised to learn that Ales Hemsky, a veteran Forward with the NHL, is retiring after 2020. Ales made this announcement directly through the NHL Alumni Association, revealing that he should spend time with the children moving forward. Doctors had informed Hemsky that his body couldn’t naturally sustain another season, which was challenging for the Forward to accept and come to terms with. He noted that when you’ve done the same thing for so long, you don’t want to give it up under any conditions.

Ales Hemsky stands at 36 years of age, holding fifteen seasons in the National Hockey League. Throughout this career, more than 652 Games were played with the Edmonton Oilers, with hundreds of other appearances with the Ottawa Senators. This extends towards the Montreal Canadians and Dallas Stars, with Ales Hemsky being one of the few forwards to sustain a lengthy career with four teams. His final season will have been 2019-20 with the Montreal Canadians.

Stats

Hemsky was an influential Forward & Capitan in the National Hockey League. He acquired 570+ points throughout his career, with the overwhelming majority coming from assistance. 174 Goals were accomplished with an additional 398 assists. It should be noted his career extends beyond the regular NHL season. His skillsets obtained Ales a position in the Stanley Cup Players with the Edmonton Oilers.

They’d inevitably lose to the Carolina Hurricanes, with this 13th-Round Pick in the 2001 NHL Draft working towards new accomplishments. Those would include acquiring an Olympic Medal for his home nation of the Czech Republic. Hemsky would accomplish this goal twice, once in 2006 and the other in 2014. He’d also inquire a Gold Medal with the 2016 World Hockey Cup Series.

Public Remarks

Hemsky revealed to reporters that it took twelve months for him to accept retirement. He noted that additional damage had been done to both his shoulders, creating cartilage damage that cannot be reversed. Ales finished his announced retirement by thanking all those involved with improving his career in the National Hockey League.

The American Hockey League was disappointed to announce that their 2020 Regular Season has been cancelled. This followed when organizers initially had planned a postponement period, which would be reviewed every thirty days. The final review period came on May 1st, where it’d ultimately be decided to cancel the entire decision. Organizers were forced into this decision after the novel coronavirus has infected the safety of American civilians. The AHL cannot risk the virus being contracted to players, team personnel, coach staff, or attendees. AHL Representatives also clarified that the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs are cancelled.

March 12th marked the original date that the American Hockey League was suspended. The National Hockey League followed suit & postponed their 2020 season on the same date. It’s prompted analysts to question if NHL Organizers will cancel the full season for this year, which would save the lives of thousands but risk hundreds of millions in lost finances. It should be mentioned that the National Hockey League has experienced multiple outbreaks of the coronavirus, with the most notable being on the Chicago Blackhawks. It’d be in the corporation’s best interest to terminate the 2020 season. Significant lawsuits would subsequently be avoided.

The President Talks

The official notice of cancellation came from David Andrews, the American Hockey League President. He noted that this decision didn’t come lightly and required considerable insight from medical experts. After David obtained the necessary data, it was agreed that maintaining the 2020 season isn’t feasible. The American Hockey League will now work towards organizing the 2020-21 Season, which has been supported by the NHL. David Andrews also thanked the National Hockey League for their leadership through this unexpected period.

David Andrews finished his remarks by expressing the American Hockey League will continue to work towards the Health & Safety of Players, Stadium Workforces, Team Personnel, and Coaching Staff. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this is the 1st time since the AHL was created in 1936 that a season was cancelled, even the Great War couldn’t stop the American Hockey League. David Andrews clarified that those who purchased tickets for 2020 games could receive immediate refunds online.

The British Columbia Hockey League has requested financial aid from province politicians, hoping to offset the substantial losses that’ve followed with the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCHL hasn’t been operational since March 13th, which is when officials were forced into the closure with social distancing measures being implemented across Canada. The unexpected termination of seasonal events came after the BCHL Championship completed its first round. The Hockey Canada Association demanded closures onto all provincial leagues, including the Ontario Hockey League. Shuts downs extend towards Spring & Winter Camps being terminated for 2020. This’ll prompt limited profits for the BCHL, which has already lost funds amidst minimal merchandise sales.

Chris Hebb, the British Columbia Hockey Leagues Commissioner, provided insight into their decision through formal statements with CTV News – Vancouver Edition. He mentioned that the 2021 BCHL Season is playable upon the approval of the Hockey Canada Association. Additional consent is also required from the BC Government. Chris Hebb noted that financial issues for these eighteen units are anticipated, with the possibility of another cancelled season possibly forcing these hockey teams to go bankrupt.

The Meeting & Possible Results

The Commissioner determined early on into the pandemic that a contingency fund was required to protect local teams. Hundreds of thousands are spent monthly to ensure that athletes have survival funds for necessities. Those finances will inevitably deplete, prompting Chris Hebb to seek support from British Columbia politicians. The Commissioner has requested a meeting, upon which he’ll inform these individuals of the social and cultural impact that closures have onto BC Communities. Chris Hebb will also tell them of the financial challenges this’ll bring to local hockey teams.

When speaking with CTV News – Vancouver Edition, the Commission mentioned that the fallout of this closure period would be more extensive than the shutdown itself. Getting civilians to return to local stadiums will be challenging, with Canadians concerned for their medical safety. Chris Hebb also noted that corporate sponsorships would be challenging to locate, with all industries trying to improve their conditions after the novel coronavirus. It should be mentioned that financial aid is almost guaranteed for the BCHL, with hockey being Canada’s national sport.