NEW YORK — The New York Islanders are in the middle of a deep run in the playoffs, but the 2020-21 season is potentially right around the corner.
The NHL hopes to start next season in December or January, but there is no guarantee that will happen with regions across the United States still dealing with COVID-19. The NHL has managed to have no positive COVID tests during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which gave Islanders owner Jon Ledecky plenty of confidence in the league going forward.
“In Gary we trust,” Jon Ledecky told NYI Hockey Now at the Preview Club in Manhattan during the first intermission of the Game 1 on Monday. “We have a great commissioner and Billy Daly is an excellent deputy commissioner. They have a fabulous team. … My answer is pretty clear, we follow the commissioner. He’s in charge and he’s done a great job.”
Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke, who has not only worked with the Islanders at Belmont but worked with the league on the Seattle expansion, had a simple answer when asked to comment on next season. “Work in progress, be prepared for anything,” Leiweke said.
The Islanders had been in the Toronto bubble since the end of July before relocating to Edmonton for the Eastern Conference Finals. Jon Ledecky had been impressed with what the NHL was able to put together through the Qualifying Round and the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The NHL has managed to keep the players safe during that time and produce a product that engaged the fans.
“All the owners salute the commissioner and his colleagues for what they’ve done. It’s amazing,” Ledecky said. “The hockey is compelling. Saturday night was the highest rating in five years for an NHL playoff game. People have enthusiastically adopted the bubble and, wow, every game has been incredibly compelling with the storylines.”