Detroit Red Wings: Looking at how COVID-19 will impact the organization

The Detroit Red Wings 2019-20 season is at a standstill, but is that a bad thing with eleven games remaining and the best draft lottery odds already clinched?

Things in the sports world are quite strange right now, without hockey to watch Detroit Red Wings fans may be happy to stop the bleeding. However, diehard Red Wings fans may also miss watching the team take the ice even though they are losing.

With COVID-19 putting the National Hockey League (NHL) on pause, the Red Wings may be more affected than most may think. With initial plans as of now is a return to the ice for a mini-camp and finishing of the remaining games and then playoffs, simply being delayed compared to the usual dates.

The Red Wings will not be making the playoffs, nor do their remaining games particularly matter since they have clinched the number one highest odds for the first overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery.

Here are some things that will (likely) be influenced by the Red Wings season being put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the country, not just here in Michigan.

  • NHL Draft Lottery
  • NHL Entry Draft
  • NHL Free Agency
  • Salary Cap

As mentioned above, with the postponement of the rest of the NHL season, that would ultimately affect the NHL Draft Lottery. Even though the Red Wings know they have the best odds, the other spots are not set in stone, and the remaining games will dictate changes.

This affects the Red Wings because until the lottery occurs, the organization does not know which pick they will have, whether it be first, second, third, or fourth. With the date being pushed back due to the suspension, General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman will have to wait it out.

Moving into the next stage after the lottery will be the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, which will likely be pushed back as the season is going to be pushed back with this suspension. The Red Wings will have a top-four pick with the lottery odds they have clinched, but who knows when the draft will take place.

With about a month left in the season, some time budgeted for a mini-camp, and the playoffs, the 2020 NHL Entry Draft would most likely be pushed back into July. Going hand in hand with the draft will be the free agency signing periods.

Generally, the free agency periods start on July 1st as most hockey fans know, but with the factors mentioned above, this would get pushed back even further. This impacts the Red Wings with their current salary cap situation going into 2020-21, needing to sign their restricted free agents and breach the cap floor.

The overall salary cap was expected to rise with the 2020-21 season. Players are still scheduled to receive their remaining checks for the 2019-20 season, but the 2020-21 season could see changes.

Either way, it would not be shocking to see the salary cap move up next year, the numbers may move more than anticipated with the season on pause. These are just some of the big picture influences that the Red Wings are going to face in the coming months based on the current situation.

The Detroit Red Wings are going to have plenty of different impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving the NHL season on pause for the time being. Hopefully, more clarity will come in the next few weeks.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.