Red Wings: League needs to end the suffering now with new return plan

The Detroit Red Wings season has been a tough one, to say the least, and with the expanded playoffs being talked about, this season might finally be ruled over.

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the return-to-play committee have been working on getting players back on the ice as soon as possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue is, the Detroit Red Wings do not need to get back on the ice, fans have seen enough losing for this season.

The season was tough to watch, posting a horrifying 17-49-5 record that might just be bad enough to secure the first overall selection in the upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft. That being said, it is time to call the dogs off and just let the Red Wings pack it in for 2019-20.

Since March 10th, the Red Wings have not taken the ice, and the latest rumblings around the NHL is that an expanded 24-team playoff would keep the Red Wings off the ice if hockey returns. As much as fans want sports to return, this is more than okay, given the circumstances of this team.

The Red Wings are hard to watch as is; sending them out there to play eleven more useless games was not worth it.

With the latest plan from the league, the Red Wings players would be injury-free and be able to not worry about the health impacts of restarting play during the pandemic.

Keeping players like Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha healthy rather than risking an injury in eleven meaningless games seems worth it.

Some hurdles would come about when it came to traveling between the United States and Canada, for a team that might lose all eleven games, it just is not worth it.

The team already clinched the best lottery odds; there is no reason why they need to get back on the ice for the 2019-20 season.

The league should just let the players quarantine wherever they are across the world and focus on the offseason and upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft. It is fewer hurdles to jump over while trying to make sure that each competing team can return to play safely.

The suffering should be over given the league can agree on the new plan to keep teams like the Red Wings off the ice when hockey does return for the 2019-20 season. Forgoing the remaining regular-season games works in the benefit of the Red Wings to put them out of their misery.

For the time being, the Red Wings General Manager (GM), Steve Yzerman, should turn over his focus to the Draft Lottery and evaluating the top talents for the organization this summer. Beyond that, looking ahead, he is going to have a busy summer when it comes to free agency.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the 2019-20 NHL season on pause, for the Detroit Red Wings it should not be a pause, rather an abrupt end to a horrific season.