The Blue Jackets Would Be Screwed By a Proposed "68-Game" Rollback Option, Should the NHL Resume

By Rob Mixer on April 9, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.

There may not be an ideal way to do this.

But, if at some point the NHL resumes its schedule, it's quite possible that the Columbus Blue Jackets will be on the short end of the stick.

Unless, of course, they pursue an option that we'll touch on below.

Should the league decide to forego its remaining regular season games, it's left with a few options (and none are kind to Columbus, which has played more games than the teams competing for a wild card spot). First is a points percentage model, where the Blue Jackets would fall behind the Carolina Hurricanes and out of a playoff spot. 

Second is an option floated by TSN's Frank Seravalli earlier this week: "rolling back" all NHL teams to points earned through 68 games, which would wipe two games – and one win – off the Blue Jackets' account. 

From Seravalli's story:

The rollback could be perceived as the more equitable solution to an untenable problem because it eliminates the debate between points accumulated and points percentage. 

With an unbalanced number of games played, teams with more points say they’ve actually earned the points, while those with fewer games say they were robbed of the opportunity to do so.

Here's the problem: it's not equitable. 

Is it truly "equitable" to pretend like games that were played weren't...actually played? After all, we probably shouldn't act as though all games are created equal. Further, the teams aren't in charge of creating their schedules. That's the NHL's doing.

So, the NHL may be better served to – when the time comes to plan for a restart – look at expanding the wild card format to allow teams "in the hunt" to have a shot. Simply going the route of wiping already-played games from existence is an idea that no NHL team should get behind. 

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