Rangers to decide on Lafreniere at WJC this week, QMJHL suspends play, and more
It is now December 1 and there is no agreement in place or even shaping up that we know of. This all but confirms that a January 1 start date for the 2020-21 season is just pie in the sky.
At this point, it is pretty evident that if things break right we are looking at camps opening after the holidays and mid January start. Until we get that news let’s see what else is happening in hockey.
New York Rangers to decide on Alexis Lafreniere this week
The New York Rangers face a tough decision this week on their first number one overall selection since 1965. Alexis Lafreniere is eligible to play at the WJC for Team Canada and they want him very badly.
“We’re going to keep that conversation going and we’re going to look at all the different options still,” Hockey Canada’s VP Scott Salmond said. “I would say it’s not out of the question.”
In order for the Rangers to make the proper choice, they need to see where the league stands on the 2021 season. If the NHL can come to an agreement with the NHLPA soon and camps can open by the end of the December it’s likely they would opt not to send him.
Jeff Gorton and the Rangers need to have a decision in by end of this week.
Another league paused by COVID-19
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has been forced to postpone their season due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the province of Quebec. This is another prime example why the NHL was hoping to start on January 1.
Dealing with the inevitable positive cases they will face, an earlier start would give them more flexibility to reschedule games. The NHL’s choice to try and renegotiate a CBA just four months after signing one was a bad move.