Blackhawks

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

How Blackhawks will be affected by NHL 2020 Draft Lottery announcement

How Blackhawks will be affected by NHL 2020 Draft Lottery announcement

On Tuesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that, “The draft lottery will determine which three clubs make the first three selections in the 2020 NHL Draft and it will be conducted in one of two phases depending on the various draws."

The 15 clubs eligible to win the first three overall selections are the seven clubs that do not resume play in the NHL's 24-team playoff and the eight clubs eliminated in the qualifying (play-in) round, which includes the No. 12 Blackhawks vs. the No. 5 Oilers. So, if the Hawks are eliminated in the play-in round, they have a shot at another Top 3 pick.

Temporary place holders will be designated for the odds the collective group would have had.

Phase 1 of the lottery will be conducted on June 26 before the qualifying round. There will be three separate draws to determine the first, second and third overall picks.

If a draw is won by a non-resuming club, it receives that pick. A Phase 2 won’t be needed if draws are won by non-resuming clubs. If any of the three draws are won by a resuming club a Phase 2 of the draft lottery would be conducted before the conference quarterfinals. 

For more info on this year's draft lottery

The Blackhawks were 23rd in the league out of 31 teams (based on points: 72) at the time of NHL pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12. They could have a top-ten pick for the third consecutive year. 

In last year's lottery, the Blackhawks only had an 8.2 percent chance of landing a Top 3 draft pick with being 12th in draft position but it was their lucky night. They moved up nine spots and got the No. 3 pick for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Chicago selected 6'4 center Kirby Dach third overall in last year's draft on June 21 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Dach had 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 64 games with the Blackhawks in his rookie campaign this season before the pause.

The Hawks picked defenseman Adam Boqvist at No. 8 overall in 2018. This year he had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 41 games and a +/- rating of -3 for his debut season before play stopped. 

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NHL return to play: What is the plan for Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL Draft

NHL return to play: What is the plan for Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL Draft

The NHL has taken a historic first step towards sports resuming post-COVID-19 pandemic by unveiling their return to play plan. The NHL is the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to announce a concrete proposal for how the sport will return.

But what exactly was in the plan? Here are the highlights.

First, there is no set date or location. The NHL didn't want to lock in those details in a fluid situation as local and state government regulations evolve. But Bettman suggested mid-July as the earliest possible return date.

RELATED: What are NHL's next steps after Gary Bettman announces return-to-play plan

The NHL will have two host cities host each conference’s side of the bracket. Bettman noted 10 cities are being considered, including Chicago.

Teams will be seeded by points percentage. Not total points accrued when the season shut down because not every team has played the same amount of games.

Each conference will have 12 teams in the playoff. The top four seeds will play in a Round Robin to determine seeding, with regular season overtime rules. The remaining eight teams will play a best-of-five series to advance to the first round, with playoff overtime rules.

Bettman noted there was a desire to not give the top four seeds in each conference a bye and a presumably big advantage, but also didn't want to disadvantage them too much. Which is where the round robin idea came from, each team playing three games.

The Blackhawks are the 12th seed in the Western Conference and will match up against the fifth seed, the Edmonton Oilers. The top four seeds in the West are, in order: St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas.

RELATED: What a Blackhawks vs. Oilers play-in series would look like

Overall seeding will determine how advancing teams will match up against the top four seeds. Bettman noted that the players prefer re-seeding, while the league prefers bracketing. How Qualifying Round winners and the top-four seeds match up is still very much TBD, as will the format. The first and second rounds will either be best-of-5 or best-of-7 series. The Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final will be best-of-7 series.

They also outlined the NHL Draft details, which is a bit more complicated.

There could potentially be two phases, or just one.

Phase 1 of the NHL Draft will happen on June 26, before the qualifying round of the 24-team playoff bracket. In the draw will be the 7 teams that did not qualify for the 24-team tournament, with eight place holding spots for the teams that lose the qualifying round of the tournament.

RELATED: How Blackhawks will be affected by NHL 2020 Draft Lottery announcement

Phase 1 will determine the top three picks, and if they’re all won by “non-resuming Clubs” than there is no need for a Phase 2.

If a place holder for teams playing in the qualifying round wins one of the first three picks, than there will be another lottery between the Qualifying Round and the First Round. The Phase 1 Draws won by a place holder will be awarded in a lottery of the eight losing teams from the qualifying round. Each team has a 1-in-8 shot at winning.

Got all that?

Bettman also noticed they could conceivably play into the fall which could impact the 20-21 season, though the league hopes to avoid it.

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