2019–20 NHL season

The 2019–20 NHL season was 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.

2019–20 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 2, 2019 – March 11, 2020
August 1 – September 28, 2020
Number of games68–71 games
Number of teams31
Draft
Top draft pickJack Hughes
Picked byNew Jersey Devils
Regular season
Presidents' TrophyBoston Bruins
Season MVPLeon Draisaitl (Oilers)
Top scorerLeon Draisaitl (Oilers)
Playoffs
Playoffs MVPVictor Hedman (Lightning)
Stanley Cup
ChampionsTampa Bay Lightning
  Runners-upDallas Stars
NHL seasons

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 planned to hold in two centralized "hub cities", Toronto's Scotiabank Arena and Edmonton's Rogers Place, with no spectators and only essential staff present.[1]

The season ended on September 28, 2020, with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals in six games, winning their second Stanley Cup in franchise history.[2]

League businessEdit

Collective bargaining agreementEdit

The collective bargaining agreement (CBA), previously signed to end the 2012–13 NHL lockout, entered into its eighth season. Before the season started, both the NHL and the NHLPA had the choice to opt out of the CBA on September 1 and September 16, 2019, respectively. If either of them had opted out, the CBA would have expired at the end of this season instead of at the end of 2021–22.[3] The NHL announced on August 30 that they would not opt out,[4] and the NHLPA then also agreed on September 16 not to opt out.[5]

Salary capEdit

The salary cap is $81.5 million, as announced on June 22, 2019.[6]

Seattle expansion teamEdit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the christening of the Seattle Kraken was delayed to July 23, 2020.[7][8] The expansion team, set to begin play during the 2021–22 season, originally planned to announce the club's name in early 2020.[9]

Ron Francis was hired as Seattle's first general manager on July 17, 2019.[10]

Rule changesEdit

The following rule changes were proposed June 19, 2019 and approved the next day:[11][12]

  • 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 attacking 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 offence given choice of side. In such cases, the defensive team will not be allowed to make a line change.
  • A puck that leaves play in the attacking zone will remain in the attacking zone for the next face-off.
  • Players who 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.
  • Linesmen will now drop the puck at centre ice after goals and at the start of overtime instead of the referees.[13]
Expansion of video review[11][12]
  • Teams now have an unlimited number of coach's challenges, but failed challenges will now result in delay-of-game penalties instead of the loss of their timeout. The first failed challenge will result in a two-minute minor, and each subsequent failed challenge will result in a four-minute double-minor.
  • A team may challenge goals that follow plays in the attacking zone that should have instead resulted in a stoppage before the puck went into the net. Missed stoppages include hand passes, pucks high-sticked to a teammate, and pucks hitting the netting or going into the players bench. The delay-of-game penalty for pucks going over the glass will still not be reviewable under this situation.
  • All match and major penalties excluding fighting will be required to video review; officials will reserve the authority to reduce the penalty to a minor penalty depending on the result of the review, but referees cannot rescind a penalty altogether.
  • Referees have the option to review high-sticking double minors at their discretion and without consultation with the NHL's Situation Room.
  • The league eliminates the use of goal judges and assigns those duties to the in-house video replay official.[14]
Modification to the tie-breaking procedure

To put more emphasis on teams winning in regulation, regulation wins (tracked in an additional RW column in the league standings) will now precede regulation and overtime wins (ROW) in the tie-breaking procedure. The league also added goals scored as a new tiebreaker.[15]

Player and puck tracking technologyEdit

After testing at the 2019 National Hockey League All-Star Game, the NHL planned to deploy player and puck tracking systems to all 31 NHL arenas prior to the start of the 2019–20 season.[16][17] This technology was developed in collaboration with a German Fraunhofer Institute using transmitters embedded inside pucks and jerseys.[17] It enables on-air features such as speed displays, puck tracking graphics (reminiscent of the FoxTrax graphics utilized in the late 1990s by previous U.S. national NHL broadcaster Fox, also developed by Sportvision), and marker graphics hovering above players.[18]

On September 5, 2019, it was reported that the league replaced its primary technology partner in its tracking technology, and thus the system likely would not be up and running until the 2020 playoffs at the earliest.[19]

Media rightsEdit

This is 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.[20][21]

Both NBC Sports and Sportsnet celebrated International Women's Day on March 8, 2020, by featuring all-female broadcasting crews on their respective telecasts of St. Louis BluesChicago Blackhawks and Vegas Golden KnightsCalgary Flames.[22][23]

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.[24]

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.[25] The FSN networks will continue to temporarily use the Fox Sports name under a transitional license agreement while Sinclair explores rebranding options.[26]

In August 2019, the Vegas Golden Knights agreed to a deal with Las Vegas broadcast television station KTNV-TV to locally televise all of the team's 2019 preseason games over-the-air.[27]

In September 2019, the New York Islanders agreed to a two-year deal with WEPN-AM and WEPN-FM to broadcast a majority of their games. Since the two stations also broadcast New York Rangers and the NBA's New York Knicks games, WRHU of Hofstra University will continue to be used by the Islanders as an overflow station.[28]

This is the final season of Sportsnet's regional rights to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.[29] In December 2019, after having aired the first-ever NHL broadcast in the language earlier in the year, it was announced that the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) would air six of Sportsnet's Hometown Hockey games per season in Plains Cree over the next three years.[30]

Sports bettingEdit

As part of its renovations, the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center announced that Rivers Casino Philadelphia (then SugarHouse Casino) would become the venue's official sportsbook partner, with the venue adding two lounge areas with odds boards to promote the casino's sports betting app.[31][32]

DraftEdit

The 2019 NHL Entry Draft was held on June 21 and 22, 2019, with Jack Hughes being selected first overall by the New Jersey Devils.[33][34]

Preseason games in EuropeEdit

Two preseason games were played in Europe.[35] The Chicago Blackhawks played against Eisbären Berlin at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany, on September 29, 2019.[36] The Philadelphia Flyers played against Lausanne HC at Vaudoise Aréna in Lausanne, Switzerland on September 30, 2019.[37]

General Manager of the Year AwardEdit

On November 19, 2019, the NHL announced it would rename the General Manager of the Year Award in honour of Jim Gregory, the recently deceased former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and former NHL executive. The official name is changed to the "Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award."[38]

Coaching changesEdit

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, nearly three years into his second stint with the team. He won the Stanley Cup in 2007, but since then had made the playoffs only two times. General manager Murray took over as interim coach until the end of the season.[39] 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.[40]
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 season only to collapse and miss the playoffs.[41] 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.[42]
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.[43] Tippett was hired on May 28. He last served as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes from 2009 to 2017.[44]
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.[45] 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 Cup championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He accumulated an overall record of 797–452–249 with the team.[46]
Los Angeles Kings John Stevens
Willie Desjardins*
Todd McLellan Stevens was fired on November 4, 2018, after starting the season 4–8–1, reaching the first round of the playoffs in his only full season as coach. Former Vancouver Canucks' head coach Desjardins was named the interim coach for the team.[47][48] 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.[49]
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.[50] On May 23, the team hired Smith as their head coach. He most recently served as an assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.[51]
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.[52] 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).[53]
St. Louis Blues Mike Yeo
Craig Berube*
Craig Berube 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.[54] After coaching the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2019, Berube was named permanent head coach on June 24, 2019.[55]
In–season
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach Story / Accomplishments
Calgary Flames Bill Peters Geoff Ward* Peters resigned on November 29, 2019, after accusations of racism were made by former Rockford IceHogs player Akim Aliu when Peters was coaching the AHL club a decade earlier. Peters spent 1⅓ seasons with the Flames, registering a record of 12–12–4 to start the season after reaching the first round of the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference the previous season. Ward, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.[56][57]
Dallas Stars Jim Montgomery Rick Bowness* Montgomery was dismissed on December 10, 2019 due to "unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs" of the Stars and the league. He spent 1⅓ seasons with the Stars, registering a record of 17–11–3 to start the season after reaching the second round of the playoffs the previous season. Bowness, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.[58][59]
Minnesota Wild Bruce Boudreau Dean Evason* Boudreau was fired on February 14, 2020, after 3⅔ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 27–23–7 to start the season. The Wild had reached the playoffs in the first two seasons of his tenure in Minnesota but had not qualified for the playoffs since the 2017–18 season. Evason, who had served as an assistant coach with the Wild since the start of the 2018–19 season, was immediately named interim head coach.[60]
Nashville Predators Peter Laviolette John Hynes Laviolette was fired on January 6, 2020, after 5½ seasons with the team, which had registered a 19–15–7 record to start the season. The Predators made the playoffs in all five seasons under Laviolette, advanced to the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals and won the Presidents' Trophy in the 2017–18 season.[61] Hynes, who previously served as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils, was hired on January 7, 2020.[62]
New Jersey Devils John Hynes Alain Nasreddine* Hynes was fired on December 3, 2019, after 4⅓ seasons with the team, which had registered a 9–13–4 record to start the season. The Devils reached the playoffs once in Hynes' tenure, and did not advance past the first round in 2018. Nasreddine, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.[63]
San Jose Sharks Peter DeBoer Bob Boughner* DeBoer was fired on December 11, 2019, after 4⅓ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 15–16–2 to start the season. The Sharks qualified for the playoffs in all of the four previous seasons under DeBoer, and advanced to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals. Boughner, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.[64]
Toronto Maple Leafs Mike Babcock Sheldon Keefe Babcock was fired on November 20, 2019, after 4¼ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 9–10–4 to start the season after reaching the first round of the playoffs in the previous three seasons. Keefe, who had served as the head coach of the Toronto Marlies of the AHL from 2015 to 2019, was subsequently named as the team's next head coach.[65]
Vegas Golden Knights Gerard Gallant Peter DeBoer Gallant was fired on January 15, 2020, after a little more than 2½ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 24–19–6 to start the season. The Golden Knights had reached the playoffs in their first two seasons of existence, including advancing to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals in their debut season. Gallant earned the Jack Adams Award that season.[66] DeBoer, who had been fired as the head coach of the San Jose Sharks one month earlier, was subsequently named as the team's second head coach.[67]

(*) Indicates interim.

Front office changesEdit

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 career for the Red Wings and had previously been the team's vice president from 2006 to 2010, returned as general manager on April 19, 2019.[68]
Edmonton Oilers Peter Chiarelli
Keith Gretzky*
Ken Holland Chiarelli was fired on January 22, 2019, after four years as the Oilers' general manager. Gretzky, the brother of former NHL player Wayne Gretzky, was named interim general manager.[69] Holland was hired on May 7, 2019.[70]
Minnesota Wild Paul Fenton Bill Guerin Fenton was fired on July 30, 2019, after one year as general manager. On August 21, it was announced that Guerin had been named general manager of the Wild.[71]
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 of the Golden Knights, but McCrimmon will represent them at the league's general manager meetings and be the point of contact for other general managers.[72]
In–season
Team Outgoing general manager Incoming general manager Story / Accomplishments
Arizona Coyotes John Chayka
Steve Sullivan*
Bill Armstrong Chayka (after four years with the team) quit unexpectedly as the team headed into the 2020 Qualifying Round. Steve Sullivan was named interim general manager.[73] During the off-season, on September 17, 2020, the Coyotes hired former Blues assistant GM, Bill Armstrong, as their new general manager.[74]
New Jersey Devils Ray Shero Tom Fitzgerald* Shero was fired on January 12, 2020, after five years as the Devils' general manager. Fitzgerald was named interim general manager.[75]

(*) Indicates interim.

Regular seasonEdit

The regular season began on October 2, 2019, and was originally supposed to end on April 4, 2020, but due to COVID-19, the season was suspended on March 12, 2020.[76] On May 26, 2020, it was announced that the regular season would not be finished.[77]

International gamesEdit

Three regular season games, branded as the NHL Global Series, were played in Europe.[35] The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers played their regular season opening game on October 4, 2019 at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.[78] The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning played two games at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden on November 8 and 9, 2019.[79][80]

Outdoor gamesEdit

Three outdoor games were held during the 2019–20 season:

All-Star GameEdit

The 2020 National Hockey League All-Star Game was held in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Enterprise Center, the home of the St. Louis Blues on January 25, 2020.[87][88][89][90]

Postponed gameEdit

The St. Louis BluesAnaheim Ducks game on February 11, 2020, was suspended at a 1−1 tie with 7:50 left in the first period after Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench in a medical emergency due to a cardiac episode.[91] He eventually had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator procedure and was placed on injured reserve.[92] The game was made up on March 11. This resulted in the Blues' home game against the Florida Panthers being moved one day earlier from March 10 to March 9.[93][94][95]

Suspension of the regular season due to COVID-19Edit

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, concern began to build that large crowds at sporting events would spread the virus that causes COVID-19. In early March 2020, the NHL suspended media access to the locker rooms, saying that only official personnel would be allowed in after the games to limit person-to-person contact. The San Jose Sharks were planning to play three home games without fans from March 19, following San Francisco's order prohibiting assemblies larger than 1,000 individuals.[96] Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets had also proposed to play home games without fans, due to Ohio governor Mike DeWine banning mass gatherings in the state.[97]

But after the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended all games when Rudy Gobert and another player tested positive for COVID-19 on the day that the World Health Organization declared the disease to be a pandemic, the NHL scheduled a meeting to discuss pausing the season. On March 12, morning practice sessions and media access for all teams were cancelled. Shortly after, they announced that the 2019–20 season had been paused indefinitely.[98] This became the biggest interruption to regular NHL season games since the 2012–13 NHL lockout.[99] All players and hockey staff were asked to self-quarantine in their home cities until further notice.[100]

One of the players from the Ottawa Senators had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 17.[101][102] Four days later, on March 21, it was announced that a second Senators player tested positive for COVID-19.[103][104] Two Colorado Avalanche players have also tested positive for the virus.[105] On April 4, the originally intended date for the final games of the regular season, Commissioner Gary Bettman participated in a call with U.S. president Donald Trump and other sport commissioners on the state of the sport world.[106]

Return to play with modified playoff formatEdit

On May 22, the league and the NHLPA agreed on a basic framework to stage a 24-team playoff tournament behind closed doors. The details of the plan were announced publicly on May 26. The seeds would be based on each club's points percentage when the season paused on March 12 (effectively scrapping the remainder of the regular season and making this the first season in NHL history where some teams played more regular season games than others in a year that did not have a team fold during the regular season). The top four seeds in each conference would get a bye, while the next eight seeds in each conference would play in a best-of-five series. Many of the logistics still needed to be negotiated, including COVID-19 testing protocols, visas, and whether these games would be held in one or more "hub" cities as the Canada–United States border would remain closed to non-essential travel until June 21.[107][108][109] That same day, the U.S. government announced that foreign athletes would be exempted from pandemic-related travel bans still in effect.[110][111]

On May 26, Bettman formally discussed aspects of the "Return to Play Plan", including the proposed 24-team playoff format (with the top four teams in each conference playing a round robin tournament under regular season overtime rules to determine their seeds), and modifications to the procedures for the Draft Lottery. Aspects of the format (including the possibility of a best-of-five format for the first and second round, and changes to bracketing) were still being negotiated, but it was stated that the conference finals and Stanley Cup Finals would still use a best-of-seven series. Bettman stated that at least two hub cities would be used for the playoffs, shortlisting hosts such as Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver. Health, testing, and security protocols would be in place at these sites.[100]

On June 4, it was announced that the NHL and NHLPA had approved aspects of the format that had not yet been finalized during the May 26 briefing, with the first and second rounds proper using a best-of-seven format as usual, and all teams being reseeded after each round (to account for the lack of home advantage due to all games being played at a neutral site).[112]

It was reported that the NHL planned to have one American host and one Canadian host.[113] As Canada's Quarantine Act at the time required all travellers entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated that this may impact the ability to use Canadian host cities unless these issues can be addressed.[100] On June 10, British Columbia Premier John Horgan stated that the province's medical officer Bonnie Henry had endorsed proposed protocols developed by the Vancouver Canucks in collaboration with local officials, and that they were being sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for federal approval.[114] These included allowing the NHL to "cohort" players and restrict their access to the general public.[115]

Phase 2 of the "Return to Play Plan" began on June 8.[116] Players were allowed to resume use of team practice facilities in small groups (no more than six), with only players allowed on-ice and no other agents or press admitted. Players had to self-isolate for 14 days if they used public transport, and were regularly monitored and tested for COVID-19. If a player tests positive, they could not attend training until they had been cleared, with teams suggested to use guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Training camps (phase 3) were planned to reopen on July 10.[100] Amidst an intense growth of new cases in Florida, the Tampa Bay Lightning temporarily closed their training facility on June 19 after several staff members and three players tested positive for COVID-19.[117]

On June 24, Sportsnet reported that Vancouver's bid had been complicated by disagreements over protocols for positive cases. The next day, Global BC's Richard Zussman reported that the NHL had "moved on [for now]" from Vancouver, and was increasing its focus on Edmonton and Toronto as potential sites.[118] While Las Vegas was initially considered a front-runner, a spike of cases in Nevada and other U.S. states led to reports on July 1 that the NHL had decided on Edmonton and Toronto as the sites.[119][113]

On July 10, the NHL confirmed that it had ratified agreements with the NHLPA to begin the playoffs on August 1 (concluding no later than early October), with games being hosted by Edmonton (Western Conference early rounds, Conference Finals, and Stanley Cup Finals) and Toronto (Eastern Conference early rounds). The league also renewed its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for four additional seasons, which includes an increase to minimum player salaries and a 10% deference of player salaries for the 2020–21 season (to be paid out over three seasons beginning 2022–23).[120][121]

StandingsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Pos Team GP W L OTL RW GF GA GD PCT Qualification
1 Boston Bruins 70 44 14 12 38 227 174 +53 .714 Advance to Seeding round-robin tournament[122]
2 Tampa Bay Lightning 70 43 21 6 35 245 195 +50 .657
3 Washington Capitals 69 41 20 8 31 240 215 +25 .652
4 Philadelphia Flyers 69 41 21 7 31 232 196 +36 .645
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 69 40 23 6 29 224 196 +28 .623 Advance to 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs qualifying round[122]
6 Carolina Hurricanes 68 38 25 5 27 222 193 +29 .596
7 New York Islanders 68 35 23 10 24 192 193 −1 .588
8 Toronto Maple Leafs 70 36 25 9 28 238 227 +11 .579
9 Columbus Blue Jackets 70 33 22 15 25 180 187 −7 .579
10 Florida Panthers 69 35 26 8 30 231 228 +3 .565
11 New York Rangers 70 37 28 5 31 234 222 +12 .564
12 Montreal Canadiens 71 31 31 9 19 212 221 −9 .500
13 Buffalo Sabres 69 30 31 8 22 195 217 −22 .493
14 New Jersey Devils 69 28 29 12 22 189 230 −41 .493
15 Ottawa Senators 71 25 34 12 18 191 243 −52 .437
16 Detroit Red Wings 71 17 49 5 13 145 267 −122 .275

Western ConferenceEdit

Pos Team GP W L OTL RW GF GA GD PCT Qualification
1 St. Louis Blues 71 42 19 10 33 225 193 +32 .662 Advance to Seeding round-robin tournament[123]
2 Colorado Avalanche 70 42 20 8 37 237 191 +46 .657
3 Vegas Golden Knights 71 39 24 8 30 227 211 +16 .606
4 Dallas Stars 69 37 24 8 26 180 177 +3 .594
5 Edmonton Oilers 71 37 25 9 31 225 217 +8 .585 Advance to 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs qualifying round[123]
6 Nashville Predators 69 35 26 8 28 215 217 −2 .565
7 Vancouver Canucks 69 36 27 6 27 228 217 +11 .565
8 Calgary Flames 70 36 27 7 25 210 215 −5 .564
9 Winnipeg Jets 71 37 28 6 30 216 203 +13 .563
10 Minnesota Wild 69 35 27 7 30 220 220 0 .558
11 Arizona Coyotes 70 33 29 8 26 195 187 +8 .529
12 Chicago Blackhawks 70 32 30 8 23 212 218 −6 .514
13 Anaheim Ducks 71 29 33 9 20 187 226 −39 .472
14 Los Angeles Kings 70 29 35 6 21 178 212 −34 .457
15 San Jose Sharks 70 29 36 5 22 182 226 −44 .450
Tiebreaking procedures
  1. Fewer number of games played (only used during regular season).
  2. Greater number of regulation wins (denoted by RW).
  3. Greater amount of wins in regulation and overtime (excluding shootout wins; denoted by ROW).
  4. Greater amount of total wins (including shootouts).
  5. Greater number of points earned in head-to-head play; if teams played an uneven number of head-to-head games, the result of the first game on the home ice of the team with the extra home game is discarded.
  6. Greater goal differential (difference between goals for and goals against).
  7. Greater amount of goals scored (denoted by GF).

PlayoffsEdit

BracketEdit

In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team is awarded home ice advantage. In the Stanley Cup Finals, home ice was determined based on regular season points percentage. Each best-of-five series followed a 2–2–1 format: the higher-seeded team was the designated as the host for games one and two (and game five, if necessary), and the lower-seeded team was the host for games three (and game four, if necessary). Each best-of-seven series followed a 2–2–1–1–1 format: the higher-seeded team was the host for games one and two (and games five and seven, if necessary), and the lower-seeded team was the host for games three and four (and game six, if necessary). In the First Round, the top four teams in each conference were seeded one through four based on their final standings from the Round-robin. The teams that advanced from the Qualifying Round were re-seeded five through eight based on their regular season points percentage.

  Qualifying Round First Round Second Round Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                               
5 Pittsburgh 1     1 Philadelphia 4  
12 Montreal 3     8 Montreal 2  
  1 Philadelphia 3  
  6 NY Islanders 4  
6 Carolina 3 2 Tampa Bay 4
11 NY Rangers 0     7 Columbus 1  
  6 NY Islanders 2  
Eastern Conference
  2 Tampa Bay 4  
7 NY Islanders 3     3 Washington 1  
10 Florida 1     6 NY Islanders 4  
  2 Tampa Bay 4
  4 Boston 1  
8 Toronto 2 4 Boston 4
9 Columbus 3     5 Carolina 1  
  E2 Tampa Bay 4
(Pairings are re-seeded after each of the first two rounds.)
  W3 Dallas 2
5 Edmonton 1     1 Vegas 4  
12 Chicago 3     8 Chicago 1  
  1 Vegas 4
  5 Vancouver 3  
6 Nashville 1 2 Colorado 4
11 Arizona 3     7 Arizona 1  
  1 Vegas 1
Western Conference
  3 Dallas 4  
7 Vancouver 3     3 Dallas 4  
10 Minnesota 1     6 Calgary 2  
  2 Colorado 3
  3 Dallas 4  
8 Calgary 3 4 St. Louis 2
9 Winnipeg 1     5 Vancouver 4  

StatisticsEdit

Scoring leadersEdit

The following players led the league in regular season points at the completion of the regular season.[124]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers 71 43 67 110 –7 18
Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers 64 34 63 97 –6 28
David Pastrnak Boston Bruins 70 48 47 95 +21 40
Artemi Panarin New York Rangers 69 32 63 95 +36 20
Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche 69 35 58 93 +13 12
Brad Marchand Boston Bruins 70 28 59 87 +25 82
Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning 68 33 52 85 +26 38
Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks 70 33 51 84 +8 40
Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs 70 47 33 80 +19 8
Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres 68 36 42 78 +5 34

Leading goaltendersEdit

The following goaltenders led the league in regular season goals against average at the conclusion of games played on March 11, 2020, while playing at least 1,740 minutes.[125]

Player Team GP TOI W L OTL GA SO SV% GAA
Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins 41 2,401:47 26 8 6 85 5 .929 2.12
Darcy Kuemper Arizona Coyotes 29 1,753:24 16 11 2 65 2 .928 2.22
Elvis Merzlikins Columbus Blue Jackets 33 1,815:08 13 9 8 71 5 .923 2.35
Jaroslav Halak Boston Bruins 31 1,833:22 18 6 6 73 3 .919 2.39
Pavel Francouz Colorado Avalanche 34 1,914:26 21 7 4 77 1 .923 2.41
Carter Hart Philadelphia Flyers 43 2,355:50 24 13 3 95 1 .914 2.42
Tristan Jarry Pittsburgh Penguins 33 1,926:29 20 12 1 78 3 .921 2.43
Ben Bishop Dallas Stars 44 2,473:49 21 16 4 103 2 .920 2.50
Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning 52 3,121:54 35 14 3 133 3 .917 2.56
Jordan Binnington St. Louis Blues 50 2,947:41 30 13 7 126 3 .912 2.56

NHL awardsEdit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL will not hold an annual awards ceremony for this season. Instead, the individual awards will be handed out during the final two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.[126] Voting concluded immediately after the end of the regular season. Statistics-based awards such as the Art Ross Trophy, Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, William M. Jennings Trophy and the Presidents' Trophy are announced at the end of the regular season. The Prince of Wales Trophy and the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl are presented at the end of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals respectively. The Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy are presented at the end of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Lester Patrick Trophy is announced following the conclusion of the playoffs and presented in the fall.

2019–20 NHL awards
Award Recipient(s) Runner(s)-up/Finalists
Stanley Cup Tampa Bay Lightning Dallas Stars
Presidents' Trophy
(Best regular-season record)
Boston Bruins St. Louis Blues
Prince of Wales Trophy
(Eastern Conference playoff champion)
Tampa Bay Lightning New York Islanders
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl
(Western Conference playoff champion)
Dallas Stars Vegas Golden Knights
Art Ross Trophy
(Player with most points)
Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers) Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
(Perseverance, Sportsmanship, and Dedication)
Bobby Ryan (Ottawa Senators) Stephen Johns (Dallas Stars)
Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia Flyers)
Calder Memorial Trophy
(Best first-year player)
Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche) Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Dominik Kubalik (Chicago Blackhawks)
Conn Smythe Trophy
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning) N/A
Frank J. Selke Trophy
(Defensive forward)
Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers) Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
Ryan O'Reilly (St. Louis Blues)
Hart Memorial Trophy
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers) Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)
Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers)
Jack Adams Award
(Best coach)
Bruce Cassidy (Boston Bruins) John Tortorella (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Alain Vigneault (Philadelphia Flyers)
James Norris Memorial Trophy
(Best defenceman)
Roman Josi (Nashville Predators) John Carlson (Washington Capitals)
Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
(Leadership and humanitarian contribution)
Mathew Dumba (Minnesota Wild)[127] Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)
P. K. Subban (New Jersey Devils)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
(Sportsmanship and excellence)
Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Ryan O'Reilly (St. Louis Blues)
Ted Lindsay Award
(Outstanding player)
Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers) Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)
Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers)
Mark Messier Leadership Award
(Leadership and community activities)
Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames)
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
(Top goal-scorer)
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins)
Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award
(Top general manager)
Lou Lamoriello (New York Islanders) Julien BriseBois (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Jim Nill (Dallas Stars)
Vezina Trophy
(Best goaltender)
Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets) Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins)
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning)
William M. Jennings Trophy
(Goaltender(s) of team with fewest goals against)
Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak (Boston Bruins) Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin (Dallas Stars)
Lester Patrick Trophy
(Service to ice hockey in U.S.)
N/A

All-Star teamsEdit

  Position   First Team Second Team Position All-Rookie
G Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins G Elvis Merzlikins, Columbus Blue Jackets
D John Carlson, Washington Capitals Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning D Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
D Roman Josi, Nashville Predators Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues D Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
C Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche F Dominik Kubalik, Chicago Blackhawks
RW David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning F Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres
LW Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins F Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadiens

MilestonesEdit

First gamesEdit

The following is a list of notable players who played their first NHL game during the 2019–20 season, listed with their first team.

Player Team Notability
Jack Hughes New Jersey Devils First overall pick in the 2019 Draft
David Ayres Carolina Hurricanes Emergency backup goaltender, played 29 minutes for Carolina against Toronto on February 22nd. First EBUG in NHL history to be credited with a win.

Last gamesEdit

Player Team Notability
Colby Cave[128] Edmonton Oilers Died on April 11 after suffering a brain bleed four days earlier
Mike Green[129] Edmonton Oilers Two-time NHL All-Star team selection, two-time NHL All-Star
Dan Hamhuis[130] Nashville Predators Over 1,100 games played
Justin Williams[131] Carolina Hurricanes Over 1,200 games played, 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, three-time Stanley Cup champion, one-time NHL All-Star

Major milestones reachedEdit

  • On October 8, 2019, Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle became the fifth player in NHL history and the first American-born to play in 800 consecutive games.[132]
  • On October 12, 2019, Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 338th player to reach the mark.[133]
  • On October 20, 2019, Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice won his 700th game, becoming the seventh head coach to reach that mark.[134]
  • On November 3, 2019, Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 339th player to reach the mark.[135]
  • On November 5, 2019, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played his 1,500th NHL game.[136]
  • On November 13, 2019, Dallas Stars forward Corey Perry played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 340th player to reach the mark.[137]
  • On November 16, 2019, Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville won his 900th game, becoming the second coach in NHL history to reach the mark.[138]
  • On November 16, 2019, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 341st player to reach the mark.[139][140]
  • On December 1, 2019, Edmonton Oilers forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl became the first set of teammates to have 50 points in 29 games since Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis did so with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995–96.[141]
  • On December 1, 2019, Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 342nd player to reach the mark.[142]
  • On December 9, 2019, Washington Capitals equipment manager Craig "Woody" Leydig worked his 2,500th NHL game.[143]
  • On December 14, 2019, San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 343rd player to reach the mark.[144]
  • On December 15, 2019, Minnesota Wild forward Eric Staal became the 89th player in NHL history to score 1,000 points.[145]
  • On December 20, 2019, Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 344th player to reach the mark.[146]
  • On January 9, 2020, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne became the 12th goaltender in NHL history to score a goal in an NHL game.[147]
  • On February 1, 2020, Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 345th player to reach the mark.[148]
  • On February 1, 2020, St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 346th player to reach the mark.[149]
  • On February 4, 2020, San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton became the 14th player to score 1,500 points.[150]
  • On February 7, 2020, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins became the first rookie goaltender to have five shutouts in an eight-game span since Frank Brimsek (1938–39).[151]
  • On February 7, 2020, Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 347th player to reach the mark.[152]
  • On February 13, 2020, Dallas Stars forward Andrew Cogliano played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 348th player to reach the mark.[153]
  • On February 22, 2020, Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal, becoming the eighth player to reach the mark.[154]
  • On August 11, 2020, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo set a modern NHL record with 85 saves in a single game, surpassing Kelly Hrudey in 1987.[155]
  • On August 11, 2020, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones set a NHL record of time on ice in a single playoff game, 65:06.[155]
  • On September 26, 2020, Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski scored his 61st playoff goal, surpassing Joe Mullen as the all-time playoff goal scorer by a United States-born player.[156]

UniformsEdit

  • The Buffalo Sabres introduced a 50th-anniversary third jersey that is plain white, with old gold trim and navy blue lettering. It was the last season the team used navy blue; a royal blue jersey will be introduced in 2020–21.[157]
  • The Carolina Hurricanes introduced a new road jersey, featuring the wordmark "Canes" written diagonally across the front. The jersey also incorporates the Hurricanes' secondary logo introduced by the team's alternate jersey during the previous season.[158]
  • The Los Angeles Kings introduced a 1990s throwback jersey for the 2019–20 season, which was inspired by the Kings' white home jersey worn from 1988 to 1998. The team was scheduled to wear the jersey twice during the season.[159]
  • The St. Louis Blues introduced a 1990s throwback jersey for the 2019–20 season, which was inspired by the Blues' blue road jersey worn from 1995 to 1998. The team was scheduled to wear the jersey in three home games during the season.[160][161]
  • The Vancouver Canucks, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the franchise in the NHL, introduced brand new home and away jerseys worn during the season. The Canucks also wore brand new third jerseys for select games. In addition, the Canucks wore their 1990s throwback jerseys for select games. The design was chosen via an online vote over two other throwback jersey options.[162]

See alsoEdit

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