When will the 24-team tournament start?
At the earliest, late July. Training camps can’t begin until July in a best-case scenario.
How long will the tournament last?
If the NHL Players Association gives approval to back-to-back games, and the format for the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs is best-of-five, the league believes the tournament will take a little more than two months.
What about testing for COVID-19?
Players are returning to their facilities in Phase 2 of the return to play, and the NHL said players will be tested twice per week. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, “Isolated positive tests throughout a two-month tournament should not necessarily mean an end to the tournament.”
Will St. Paul and Minneapolis be one of the two hubs used for the tournament?
The Twin Cities are one of 10 candidates, along with Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver. The NHL decision will come in three or four weeks.
If the Twin Cities is chosen, would the Wild play here?
Undetermined. If it does, the players would be in the same hotel conditions as other teams’ players.
Why not just cancel the playoffs and hope for the 2020-21 season to start on time?
Money. The league has likely lost more than $1 billion and can recover a third of that with a televised postseason.
When will the 2020-21 season begin?
Commissioner Gary Bettman said it might not start until January and the Winter Classic at Target Field could be the first game. He hopes for a full 82-game season with fans present.
Can the Wild sign KHL star Kirill Kaprizov for the tournament?
Very unlikely. The league’s position is the Wild can sign him to a future deal at any time, but he would not be eligible to play until the 2020-21 season. The NHL will allow expanded rosters for the postseason, when the Wild begins a best-of-five play-in series against Vancouver. The expanded roster is likely 28 skaters and all goalies under contract.
Does the Wild have a chance for the top overall pick?
Yes. The draft lottery on June 26 will determine the order. The seven nontournament teams and the eight teams that lose in the first round have a chance at the first, second or third pick. The draft won’t take place until the Stanley Cup Playoffs are over.