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Thursday Links, News and Notes : Plans, Plans and More Plans

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Plus pre-draft rankings, and way too much denim

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2020 NHL All-Star - Commissioner Gary Bettman Media Availability Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images
  • The NHL’s Central Scouting has released their final 2020 rankings. Not to ruin the surprise, but Alexis Lafreniere tops the North American skater list. Tim Stuetzle gets top marks for the European skaters
  • The NHL is finally publicly recognizing the possibility of playoffs without finishing the regular season. Joining NBC Sport’s Lunch Talk Live, Gary Bettman had this to say:

The best thing, and the easiest thing, would be if at some point we could complete the regular season and then go into the playoffs as we normally do. We understand that that may not be possible and that’s why we’re considering every conceivable alternative to deal with whatever the eventuality is.

  • Bettman also mentioned the difficulties of planning around different lock-down rules from place to place. Notably Calgary has cancelled all public events through June 30th including professional sporting events, unlike similar cancellations in Ottawa and Toronto that only apply to events requiring a city permit
  • If the regular season is done, how will the final standings be calculated? TSN’s Frank Seravalli discusses the idea of rolling things back to 68 games instead of using point percentage, based on the OHL rolling back their season to 61 games to determine draft and lottery standings. It wouldn’t change the playoff picture much in that the same 16 teams make the cut, but the match-ups would be shuffled up a bit. The downside for Ottawa is that it would push L.A. back below San Jose in the standings, something that point percentage doesn’t
  • D.J. Smith held a conference call with reporters yesterday, where he discussed (among other things) the different feeling around that last NHL game played before everything was put on hold, and the feel of the whole California trip
  • Switching sports, while most leagues have put the option of a centralized restart on the table, reports came out on Monday that the MLB might be seriously pursuing it. Numerous players have publicly poured cold water on the idea, though. At least they’re not talking about securing a private island to start back up
  • For something completely different, here’s Michael Jordan throwing out the first pitch somewhere, at some point, while wearing a Canadian Tuxedo