If it is able to resume play, the NHL will abandon the rest of the regular season and go straight into the playoffs with 24 teams instead of 16.
The decision, announced yesterday by Commissioner Gary Bettman, is not a guarantee that games are coming back. The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association must still figure out health and safety protocols and solve other issues, including where to play.
Bettman has said the goal has always been to play again and award the Stanley Cup, but details remain uncertain.
Instead of limiting the Cup chase to the usual 16 teams that qualify for the playoffs, the league and players agreed to expand the field to 24 of its 31 teams because of the unusual circumstances.
The top four teams in each conference ranked by points percentage will play separate round-robin tournaments to determine seeding. The remaining 16 teams will be seeded by conference.
Games are expected to be played in two hub cities and Bettman said 10 are in the running: Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis/St. Paul in the U.S. and Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says there definitely will be an NFL season in 2020.
In an interview on CNBC, Ross says the question is whether there will be fans in the stadiums.
The NFL has said it expects to play a full schedule beginning Sept. 10 but is preparing contingency plans in case the coronavirus pandemic makes venue changes or games without fans necessary.
Ross says the NFL’s flexibility will allow the league to start on time. He says the country needs sports entertainment.
A rookie at the major league baseball minimum would make a higher percentage of his salary than multimillionaire stars like Mike Trout or Gerrit Cole under a sliding-scale proposal by big league teams that players found “extremely disappointing.”
Major League Baseball made the proposal to the players’ union on Tuesday during a digital meeting rather than the 50-50 revenue-sharing plan that owners initially approved for their negotiators on May 11. In addition, the union said “the sides also remain far apart on health and safety protocols” aimed at starting the pandemic-delayed season around the Fourth of July.
Salaries in the major leagues range from $563,500 at the minimum to $36 million each for Trout, the three-time MVP outfielder on the Los Angeles Angels, and Cole, the pitcher signed by the New York Yankees as a free agent. According to a study by The AP, 369 of 899 players have salaries of $600,000 or less, according to the rosters frozen in March.
The Detroit Pistons are beginning a search for a candidate who could become the team’s general manager, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced its plans. Ed Stefanski, a senior advisor to owner Tom Gores, has been running basketball operations for the Pistons and will remain as the team’s top basketball executive. Detroit is moving toward adding a general manager to the front office as well. The GM spot for the Pistons has been vacant since the team overhauled its front office two years ago.
Former Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey has transferred to Northwestern, giving the Wildcats another option behind center after they struggled offensively last season. Northwestern also announced punter Derek Adams had joined the team. Ramsey and Adams are eligible to play this season as graduate transfers. Ramsey made 23 starts and appeared in 32 games overall in three seasons with the Hoosiers. He passed for 6,581 yards and 42 touchdowns and rushed for 832 yards and 14 TDs.
College football conferences and television networks have agreed to hold off on announcing start times for early-season games. CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports and their affiliated networks typically announce early game times for the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences on June 1. The two sides decided to wait a few weeks for the 2020 season as sports like the NHL and NBA work toward returning after shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The college football season is scheduled to begin with a handful of games on Aug. 29 and a full slate of games the following week.