Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Checking In With Anthony Mantha And The Virtual NHL Draft

04/29/2020 at 8:23am EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha longs for the daily grind left behind seven weeks ago when the NHL season was paused.

“Obviously, it’s hard,” Mantha said. “We’re always on the go, we’re traveling a lot, we’re playing a ton of games and then all of a sudden you need to be home just waiting for the best news.

“When you don’t have a timeline it’s hard to stay focused. It’s easy to fall into kind of a hole doing nothing. I started playing video games. I haven’t played video games in three years. It’s just different habits to pass time. If not, it’s just going to be longer and longer.”


Mantha is in Montreal, living with his girlfriend and his two sisters and adhering to Quebec’s stay-at-home orders, hoping for a loosening on golfing and boating restrictions. In the meantime, he will continue playing Call of Duty: Warzone but isn’t into binge-watching TV shows.

“Everything is pretty much closed around here -- self-confinement, you can’t have friends over or any groups gathering,” Mantha said.

continued

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

Nothing is perfect. But something is better than nothing.

It’s also possible, which is something the NFL proved last week, filling the vacuum created by the COVID-19 pandemic in the sports world and ultimately reaping the rewards. The NFL Draft drew record-smashing television ratings, raised tens of millions of dollars for charity and generated an untold sum of goodwill — no small feat for a league that often does the opposite.

So who’s got next? If Gary Bettman is paying attention — and surely he was — it should be the National Hockey League, capitalizing on an opportunity.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is still figuring out what the league can and can't do.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is still figuring out what the league can and can't do. (Photo: Stephen B. Morton, Associated Press)

Not by dropping the puck. No, that still seems like a long shot for now. But there’s no good reason not to throw those ping-pong balls in the hopper, hold a lottery that’ll presumably have the Red Wings’ best interests at heart, and then proceed with the NHL Draft in June as scheduled.

Or maybe even moved up a few weeks, a possibility that was raised on a conference call with league general managers last week. The NHL Draft originally was scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal, but that event was postponed in late March, along with the April 9 lottery and the early June scouting combine.

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