Tens of millions of dollars in costs to the NHL, some 30,000 COVID-19 tests and, unless the Canadian government relaxes its 14-day quarantining requirement for people entering the country, no chance of seeing any live hockey in the best league in the world north of the 49th parallel for the foreseeable future, perhaps even for the rest of 2020.
Oh yes, and the Pittsburgh Penguins or Edmonton Oilers could conceivably end up with the first pick overall and the right to draft Alexis Lafreniere as a consolation prize for losing to a traditional non-playoff team.
A lot went down when the NHL announced its return-to-play plan Tuesday and there was much to digest. If it were not abundantly clear before today, it should be now that the NHL desperately wants and needs to put a bow on the 2019-20 season. Whether it will actually be able to do so, and when that might happen, constitute something of a mystery at the moment. But if there is not a Stanley Cup awarded at some point in September – or perhaps even October – it will not have been for a lack of will and determination from the NHL and its players.