NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the 2019-20 regular season is considered over while announcing the league’s 24-team playoff, return to play plan.
That means Alex Ovechkin has won the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy for a record ninth time after tying David Pastrnak for the league-lead in goals with 48.
Ovechkin has led or shared the league lead in goals in seven of the past eight seasons.
According to TSN’s Stats Centre, Ovechkin, during his age-34 season, had the seventh-best goal-scoring season in the last 32 years among players who played less than 70 games.
Possibly now unable to tie the NHL's career 50-goal seasons record (9) due to 2019-20's suspension, @Capitals legend Alex Ovechkin would still tie for another goal scoring crown & finish on this list of productive players going back 32 years pic.twitter.com/CIUMVzDVLc
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) March 13, 2020
With the coronavirus pandemic canceling the rest of the regular season, Ovechkin is deprived of 13 more regular-season games where he likely would have crossed the 50-goal threshold for the ninth time in his career. Bummer.
But whatever – congratulations, Ovi!
Update, 7:45 PM: While Gary Bettman considers the record keeping for the 2019-20 regular season completed, Don Fehr says the NHL and NHLPA technically do not have an agreement on where qualification round stats will be counted.
NHLPA executive director Don Fehr tells ESPN that there’s been no collectively bargained decision on where statistics from the “qualification round” are going to be counted. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that “for the purposes of nomenclature, record keeping and NHL Awards for the 2019-20 regular season has been deemed to be completed.” But could the players’ chase for 50 goals continue?
Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are celebrating Leon Draisaitl as the Art Ross winner after he led the NHL with 110 points this season.
Your 2019-20 Art Ross winner. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/5MvKz6tvCi
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 26, 2020
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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