On Thursday, True North Sports + Entertainment sent out a formal email to Winnipeg Jets season ticket holders indicating the fact that Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place will be host to no more NHL games during the 2019-20 NHL season and/or Stanley Cup Playoffs. The ice will remain intact and properly maintained for potential team training sessions and practices, should players/teams be allowed to begin skating at some point in the near future.
With the NHL Board of Governors set to meet via conference call on Monday, a better understanding of the proposed information gathered through the Return to Play Committee will most likely become available. Jets forward Mark Scheifele serves as one of five NHL players (Connor McDavid, John Tavares, James van Riemsdyk and Ron Hainsey) on the committee aimed at serving the players’ needs and best interests in determining the most appropriate course of action for a resumption in professional hockey.
Topics of concern include: Phase II of the four-tiered structure (which would see NHL players return to their host cities and participate in small group practices and training sessions at local arenas/facilities, before Phase III begins as a three-week training camp), the date of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft held virtually, potential host cities/venues, resumption/cancellation of the 2019-20 regular season, playoff format, and appropriate quarantine procedures for players out of province, state, country or continent.
With a number of NHL cities submitting arena availability and information as to their interest in serving as one of the two-to-eight ‘divisional hubs’ the league has begun informing some cities that they will no longer be seeing NHL games played in the potential occurrence of a 2019-20 season and/or postseason resumption. Winnipeg is one of those cities no longer expected to host NHL games.
Should the remaining 15 percent of the 2019-20 season resume, there is no indication if the original opponents would still be in the picture or if the schedules would be revamped to only include divisional opponents. Should the league consider jumping right into a 16, 20 or 24-team postseason, some buy-in games would be needed. Would Winnipeg be a team included in that mix? Most definitely.
Amongst the vast uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the NHL, one does not have to look too far to observe the way that other professional sports have handled the situation. NASCAR is resuming this Sunday at Darlington, while UFC 249 was held this past Wednesday. The NBA has officially re-opened 22 of its team facilities for small group workouts, while the MLB owners have proposed a July 4th opening day for the 2020 baseball season.
How the current situation plays out within the coming weeks will determine much of the narrative going forward in all sports. The understanding is that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wants to see a full 82-game season played in 2020-21, so the latest next hockey season could begin is mid-December, in order to have the Stanley Cup awarded by late-June to early-July, allowing full coverage of the now-2021 Summer Olympics. Much more information will certainly come when made available.
The body of the email sent from TNSE is included below:
As a community, we have rallied together in recent months to manage the effects and outcomes of COVID-19, and our collective efforts are working as the number of confirmed cases has slowed in our community. It has been our hope that the 2019-20 regular season would resume, and given the recent surge in the standings and the elevated play of our Winnipeg Jets, this would have created an exciting playoff atmosphere, bolstered by another #WpgWhiteout in our city and province.
Throughout the pause, the NHL has remained consistent in messaging that ‘every possibility is being explored’. However, it has become increasingly apparent, that any possibility will not include any further games being played this season in front of fans at Bell MTS Place. Accordingly, the information below describes the credit on your Winnipeg Jets account as of May 14, and the two options available for you to use your credit.
Four (4) un-played 2019-20 Regular Season Home Games.
*Please note if you have sold tickets on Winnipeg Jets SeatExchange for any of the 4 un-played regular season home games, and received payment, an account credit will not be issued.
Option 1: Keep Your Credit on Account. Credits remaining on account will be applied to your 2020-21 Winnipeg Jets Invoice**. In appreciation for leaving your credit on account from March 12, 2020 until the start of the 2020-21 season, your 2020-21 Winnipeg Jets Invoice** will be discounted by an amount equal to 3% of your credit balance for the period from March 12, 2020 until the first home pre- or regular-season game at Bell MTS Place. For this option, no action is required.
**Note: Ticket invoices for the 2020-21 season will not be issued until there is greater certainty concerning both the timing of the season and provincial guidelines regarding public assembly.
Option 2: Refund. If you would prefer a refund, please log in to your Winnipeg Jets account through the link below and select your preferred method of payment. Refunds will be issued within 14 business days of your selection.
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