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NHL announces Return To Play plans for 2019-20 Season

24 Teams Will Restart Play, Compete for Stanley Cup; 2 “Hub” Cities Will Play Host to Games; Protocol for Players’ Return to Training Outlined; Draft Lottery to Assign Top 15 Picks in 2020 NHL Draft


NEW YORK (May 26, 2020) – The National Hockey League announced today a Return To Play Plan for the 2019-20 season, highlighted by a modified competitive format in which 24 teams will return to play and vie for the Stanley Cup at two “hub” cities beginning later this summer. The Plan also includes an outline for the return of NHL players to their Club training facilities (Phase 2) and formal training camp (Phase 3), as well as information regarding the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.


Today’s announcement follows approval of the Plan by the League’s Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players’ Association.


The NHL paused its season on March 12 from concerns over the coronavirus, having played 85 percent of the 2019-20 regular-season schedule that started in early October (1,082 of 1,271 games).


“At the pause, we committed to resuming play only when appropriate and prudent,” said Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We are hopeful the Return To Play Plan will allow us to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup in a manner in which the health and safety of our players, on-ice officials, team staff and associated individuals involved are paramount. Accordingly, an essential component of the Plan is a rigorous, regular schedule of testing.


“On the hockey side, the return-to-play format reflects the League’s extraordinary competitive balance while honoring the tradition and integrity of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


“The Return To Play Plan is the result of weeks of constructive dialogue with the National Hockey League Players’ Association and we are grateful for their cooperation. We also thank our consulting health experts and the local, regional and national authorities who are helping steer us through a complex set of issues.”


Following are details of the Return To Play Plan:


Regular Season

* The 2019-20 regular season is declared concluded through games of March 11. The 189 games originally scheduled from March 12 – April 4 will not be played.


* 24 teams will resume play: the top 12 in each Conference on the basis of points percentage at the pause (through games of March 11).



* Since the League’s pause on March 12, the League has been in Phase 1 with teams having been instructed to self-isolate as much as possible.


Phase 2 – Early June

* In early June, it is expected that teams will be permitted to return to home facilities for small group, voluntary, and on- and off-ice training.


Phase 3 – Not Earlier than First Half of July

* Not earlier than first half of July, formal training camps will begin after guidance from medical and civil authorities.


Phase 4 – Timing TBD

* 24 teams in 2 “hub” cities will compete in Seeding Round Robins, a Qualifying Round and Conference-based Stanley Cup Playoffs.


* The 2 “hub” cities will be selected from among the following:


- Chicago, IL

- Columbus, OH

- Dallas, TX

- Edmonton, AB

- Las Vegas, NV

- Los Angeles, CA

- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

- Pittsburgh, PA

- Toronto, ON

- Vancouver, BC


* Each Conference is assigned a “hub” city with secure hotels, arena, practice facilities and in-market transportation.


* Teams will be limited to 50 personnel in the “hub” city with only a small number of support staff permitted to enter the event areas.


* Timing and sites will be determined at a future date and will be dependent on COVID-19 conditions, testing ability and government regulations.


Competitive Format

* In each Conference, teams seeded by points percentage.


Round Robin: The top 4 teams play for First Round seeding (regular-season overtime rules in effect)


Qualifying Round: The remaining 8 teams play best-of-5 series to advance to the First Round (playoff overtime rules in effect)


First Round and Second Round: Format (seeding vs. bracket) and series lengths to be determined


Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final: Best-of-7 series


* The winners from the Qualifying Round play the top 4 seeds in the First Round. Individual First Round series matchups remain to be determined.


City 1

Team Conf. Rank P%
Boston Bruins 1 .714
Tampa Bay Lightning 2 .657
Washington Capitals 3 .652
Philadelphia Flyers 4 .645
Pittsburgh Penguins 5 .623
Carolina Hurricanes 6 .596
New York Islanders 7 .588
Toronto Maple Leafs 8 .579
Columbus Blue Jackets 9 .579
Florida Panthers 10 .565
New York Rangers 11 .564
Montreal Canadiens 12 .500


City 1 – Round Robin for Seeding in First Round

1. Boston Bruins

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

3. Washington Capitals

4. Philadelphia Flyers


City 1 – Best-of-5 Qualifying Round

#5 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #12 Montreal Canadiens

#6 Carolina Hurricanes vs. #11 New York Rangers

#7 New York Islanders vs. #10 Florida Panthers

#8 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. #9 Columbus Blue Jackets


City 2

Team Conf. Rank P%
St. Louis Blues 1 .662
Colorado Avalanche 2 .657
Vegas Golden Knights 3 .606
Dallas Stars 4 .594
Edmonton Oilers 5 .585
Nashville Predators 6 .565
Vancouver Canucks 7 .565
Calgary Flames 8 .564
Winnipeg Jets 9 .563
Minnesota Wild 10 .558
Arizona Coyotes 11 .529
Chicago Blackhawks 12 .514


City 2 – Round Robin for Seeding in First Round

1. St. Louis Blues

2. Colorado Avalanche

3. Vegas Golden Knights

4. Dallas Stars


City 2 – Best-of-5 Qualifying Round

#5 Edmonton Oilers vs. #12 Chicago Blackhawks

#6 Nashville Predators vs. #11 Arizona Coyotes

#7 Vancouver Canucks vs. #10 Minnesota Wild

#8 Calgary Flames vs. #9 Winnipeg Jets


2020 NHL Draft Lottery

The NHL Draft Lottery will determine the order for the first 15 selections of the 2020 NHL Draft. The picks will be awarded to the seven teams that do not resume play and the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that acquired their first-round picks).


Phase 1

* Phase 1 of the Draft Lottery will be conducted prior to the Qualifying Round on Friday, June 26.


* Three draws: First Draw (first overall pick), Second Draw (second overall pick) and Third Draw (third overall pick).


* Clubs entered: The seven teams that do not return to play, ranked in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause, and eight “place-holders” to represent the to-be-determined Qualifying Round teams that will not advance, thus maintaining previously-established odds.


Team P% Odds
1. Detroit Red Wings .275 18.5%
2. Ottawa Senators .437 13.5%
3. Ottawa Senators* .437 11.5%
4. Los Angeles Kings .457 9.5%
5. Anaheim Ducks .472 8.5%
6. New Jersey Devils .493** 7.5%
7. Buffalo Sabres .493** 6.5%
8. Team A n/a 6.0%
9. Team B n/a 5.0%
10. Team C n/a 3.5%
11. Team D n/a 3.0%
12. Team E n/a 2.5%
13. Team F n/a 2.0%
14. Team G n/a 1.5%
15. Team H n/a 1.0%

Acquired in a trade with San Jose Sharks (.450 points percentage)

** Buffalo Sabres ranked higher than New Jersey Devils on the basis of higher regulation/OT win percentage (Buffalo, .406 ROW%; New Jersey, .348 ROW%)


First Draw

* If the winning team of the First Draw is from the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.


* If the winning team of the First Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the first overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.


* After the First Draw, the winning team (from either the #1-7 group or the #8-15 group) will no longer be eligible for the Second or Third Draws. All number combinations originally assigned to this team will become “Re-Draw Combinations” for the Second and Third Draws. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the Second Draw based on which team wins the First Draw.


Second Draw

* If the winning team of the Second Draw is from among the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the second overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.


* If the winning team of the Second Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the second overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.


* After the Second Draw, the winning team (from either the #1-7 group or the #8-15 group) will no longer be eligible for the Third Draw. All number combinations originally assigned to this team will become “Re-Draw Combinations” for the Third Draw. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the Third Draw based on which team wins the Second Draw.


Third Draw

* If the winning team of the Third Draw is from among the #1-7 group above, that team wins the right to the third overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.


* If the winning team of the Third Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the third overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.


If All Three Draws Are Won by Teams in #1-7 Group . . .

* The winning teams receive the respective top three selections in the 2020 NHL Draft. The remaining four teams in the #1-7 group not selected in the three draws are assigned NHL Draft positions 4 through 7 in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause. The next eight Draft positions (8 through 15) will be assigned to the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round, in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause. In these circumstances, Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery would not be necessary.


If Any of the Three Draws Are Won by Teams in the #8-15 Group

* The Draws for the corresponding selections will be conducted during Phase 2 among only the eight Qualifying Round teams that failed to advance.


Phase 2

* Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery, if necessary, will be conducted between the Qualifying Round and First Round.


* Phase 2 participants: the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that acquired their first-round picks).


* Following each Phase 2 draw, the winning team will be assigned the corresponding Top 3 selection and, if another Phase 2 draw is necessary, that team’s numbered lottery ball will be removed.


* When all Phase 1 and Phase 2 draws are completed and the Top 3 selections in the 2020 NHL Draft assigned, the remaining selections in the Top 15 will be assigned to the 12 teams that did not win a draw in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the season’s pause.


* In each Phase 2 draw, all participants will have the same odds.





LA Angels of Anaheim Baseball Foundation awards 24 College Scholarships

May 26, 2020

ANAHEIM – The Angels Baseball Foundation (ABF) proudly announced on Tuesday that it has awarded 24 high school seniors from the Orange County and Los Angeles area with four-year scholarships through its Angels Scholars Award. The program aims to assist the honorees with their continuing education at the collegiate level.

“The Angels Baseball Foundation is extremely proud to play a role in the lives of these special students as they continue the next chapter of their educational journey,” said Angels Baseball Foundation President, Dennis Kuhl. “These students embody what we consider ‘Championship Standards,’ characteristics that create a strong foundation to become future leaders. Their continuing success through education becomes a positive not only for our organization, but more importantly for our community.”

The Angels Scholars Award was established in 2016 and is a four-year renewable scholarship that supports a select group of individuals as they pursue undergraduate degrees. Scholars are selected based on academic achievements, financial need, community involvement, and the desire to achieve a higher education. The funds are applied to primary undergraduate expenses such as tuition, room & board, healthcare, textbooks and tutoring. The students are also provided with direct access to the Angels Baseball staff to receive support in navigating their four-year college journey and learning organizational skills to become financially independent and responsible adults.

This year’s 24 recipients were selected through a process involving recommendations from their high school’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, high school counselors and the non-profit organizations they work with. These organizations include Girl Scouts of Orange County, Families Forward, and Samueli Academy, a program of Orangewood Foundation. These impressive scholars will be attending highly acclaimed institutions such as Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, University of California at Los Angeles and University of California at Irvine.

In addition, 2020 will mark the first class of Angels Scholars that will be graduating from their respective colleges this year. Following is a list of the eight graduates:

For more information on the Angels Baseball Foundation, please visit or follow on Twitter @LAAfoundation for updates, news and resources for fans.

Read more: Los Angeles Angels


Houston Astros open up facilities for individual player workouts

Minute Maid Park & West Palm Beach Spring Training Complex available


HOUSTON, TX – As of May 25, the Astros have allowed limited player access to Minute Maid Park and the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches complex in West Palm Beach for individual workouts. Those workouts will be closed to the media and to the public.

At each facility, the Astros will closely follow medical and MLB guidelines to ensure the safety of the players and staff at each facility. Below is more information regarding the workouts:

• All personnel entering the facilities will be screened and must be cleared by medical professionals.

• No more than four players can be in the facility at one time. Workout times will be staggered to ensure proper social distancing.

• Each pitcher will be provided with his own set of baseballs for bullpen sessions.

• Initially, workouts will be for 40-man players, but some support from non-40-man players may be required.

• Most of the workouts will take place outdoors to ensure proper ventilation. Players must wear masks when not working out.

• Astros coaches and staff all must wear PPE equipment at all times.

• The entire clubhouse and all other accessible areas will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day.

• Workouts are closed to the media and to the public.

“Our top priority remains the safety of our players, staff, and their families. That will never change,” said Astros General Manager James Click. “It’s exciting and a very positive step for our players to return to our facilities, even on a limited basis. This will give our players the benefit of receiving individual attention from our staff, who can provide professionalism and expertise. That is significant.”

Read more: Houston Astros


Daily Almanac for Monday, May 25, 2020: Happy Memorial Day



The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear. In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation. No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and for many years, states observed the holiday on different dates. By federal law, however, Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday in May. Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs.






















After suspending racing in early March, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is poised to make a return this weekend along with a full slate of events across all seven divisions between June and November.
The series will return to action this weekend at Texas Motorplex with a Top Alcohol only regional event. Action will intensify early June at Atlanta Dragway and Tulsa Raceway Park as all categories restart their season.
In addition to the full slate of Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events, a JEGS SPORTSnationals event has been added at New England Dragway on August 21-22. This is in addition to the JEGS SPORTSnationals “double header” at National Trail Raceway on July 16-19. Competitors attending the JEGS SPORTSnationals events will have an opportunity to earn national championship points and a grade point.
Due to the abbreviated season, the championship structure for national, regional and divisional points has been adjusted.
Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car
· Alcohol National Championship – best 2 of 5 regional and best 5 of 7 national events
· Alcohol Regional Championship – best 4 of 5 regional events. No home regional
event minimum requirement.
Comp, SS, STK, SC, SG, SST, TD, TS
· National Championship – best 3 of 5 national and best 5 of 7 divisional events
· Division Championship – best 5 of 7 races. Must enter a minimum of 2 home
divisional events (need not claim home divisional events)
As officials built the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional/divisional schedule, careful consideration was taken on grade points for 2021. At this time, no final decision has been made. Once a decision has been made an announcement will follow.
This schedule is subject to change as the circumstances surrounding this pandemic continue to evolve.
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