Oilers' Connor McDavid Wants NHL to Finish Year: 'Fair Season Is a Full Season'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2020

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 25:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers during a 4-3 Anaheim Ducks overtime win at Honda Center on February 25, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Although it's unclear when the 2019-20 NHL season will resume, Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid lobbied to play the campaign to its completion when the league restarts.

"I think [the standings] look pretty good right now," McDavid said, per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "But you want a fair season. And a fair season is a full season. If we can do that, I think that's something we'd obviously prefer."

The NHL suspended the season March 12 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's unclear when the league will come back. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported NHL officials inquired about when teams will have available arena dates in August.

Upon announcing the NHL's indefinite hiatus, commissioner Gary Bettman indicated he wished to formally finish this season as usual.

McDavid expressed reservations with any plan that would have the playoffs start immediately or shortly after the NHL returns.

"I don't think we can just step into the playoffs and Game 1, it's Calgary coming to Edmonton, and guys are running around trying to kill each other that haven't played for two months," he said. "It'll end up the [AHL] Stockton Heat vs. the Bakersfield Condors if that's the case. We want to keep the guys healthy."

Dr. Willem Meeuwisse, the league's chief medical officer, echoed McDavid's comments earlier in the week.

Meeuwisse cautioned against rushing players back, thus putting them at an increased risk injury. He told reporters the players would have a brief training camp for conditioning purposes.

Like their counterparts in other sports, NHL players have been unable to properly train because of self-quarantining guidelines and recommendations to avoid large public gatherings. The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported the league instructed teams to continue self-quarantining until April 6.