No Las Vegas this year for the NHL Awards, which will not only be disappointing for the NHL stars who love going there, but just as much for ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside, who owns that town.
In all seriousness, the NHL hasn’t announced it yet, but sources suggest to ESPN.com that the annual awards gala will not be held in Sin City, as has been the case the past few years. The NHL owes two more years on its current contract with the folks in Vegas and will honor those starting again next season.
But for this year, because of the lockout-shortened season meaning there's a lack of available dates in June -- the Stanley Cup finals should go well into the month -- the awards are going to have to have a different look.
Just what that look is remains to be determined. The league is still mulling over different variations, such as a made-for-TV event in July or perhaps a preseason gala in September. It’s all up in the air at this point, except for the fact there won’t be any fun in Vegas this year.
• The league hasn’t made a final decision yet but all signs point to a June 30 NHL draft, a one-day event with every single round completed in one Sunday. It’s not ideal, but again the compressed nature of June has left the league with few options, especially with the start of free agency commencing July 5 this year.
• And finally, as I tweeted out earlier Tuesday, the NHL’s annual March meeting has also been scaled back. Instead of a three-day affair in Florida as it normally is, this time it’ll be a one-day get-together March 20 in Toronto. Boo!