Whatever happens next in the Stanley Cup Final, no one can say the Stars haven’t overperformed in this strangest of seasons.
Many questions remain, however, about what will happen next season with no end in sight to the Covid-19 pandemic. The off-season is likely to be hectic with next season tentatively scheduled to begin in December or January.
First up, once the Stanley Cup is decided, will be the draft which is scheduled for October 6 and 7th. Back in April, we gave some thoughts on what the Stars could do in the draft, but our picks were based on the assumption that the Stars wouldn’t vastly outperform their league position and would pick around 22.
Having reached the Final the Stars will pick 30th or 31st and won’t have another pick until the end of the 4th round which means they have some interesting choices to make.
Even after the draft, many questions remain. It’s not clear if, or when, the lower leagues, junior leagues, and NCAA will return in 2021.
Some players, including Alex Turcotte (the 5th overall pick in 2019), are electing to play the season in Europe.
Much also remains unclear about the return of the NHL for the 20-21 season. Credit has to be given to the league for successful completion of the bubble play-offs but it’s not a sustainable concept for an entire season. It also seems unlikely, at least in many stadiums, that fans will be able to return while the pandemic rages on.
The NHL could return with no fans (or limited fans where allowed) in the same way that other professional sports leagues have in Europe and the US. Questions have to be asked, however, about the viability of returning with no fans in a league that is the most reliant on gate revenue of all major league sports. The NHL relies on tickets sold for 37% of its revenue, only the MLB comes remotely close.
So, we don’t know when, or how, the NHL might return next season (or if it returns at all) but in the meantime, let’s enjoy the ride, we’ll probably never have play-offs like this again.
Featured Image: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images