• An era came to a close on November 11, when Coach's Corner came to an end on Hockey Night in Canada. SportsNet fired Don Cherry that day for comments made on the much-watched segment two nights earlier that many perceived to be taking aim at immigrants.

• Later that same month, November 29, Bill Peters resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames after a former player of his Tweeted that he repeatedly directed a racial epithet towards him.

• A scary moment in Anaheim on February 11, as Jay Bouwmeester of the Blues collapsed on the bench after suffering a cardiac episode. Quick action by nearby doctors saved Bouwmeester's life. The game between the Blues and Ducks was immediately postponed, with the score tied at 1 in the 1st period. It was made up on March 11, with the 60-minute game beginning with the score tied at 1, and the Blues winning 4-2.

• Another emergency backup goalie steals the show! Two years after accountant Scott Foster helped preserve a win for his hometown Blackhawks, Toronto Zamboni driver David Ayres, 42, was pressed into duty for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Maple Leafs. Ayres entered the game at 11:19 of the second period after both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek went down with injuries. Ayres gave up goals on the first two shots he faced, but he settled down and stopped the final eight in leading the Hurricanes to a 6-3 win. Ayres, who was named the first star of the game, became the first emergency backup goalie to earn a win as the goalie of record.

• Along with the rest of the sports world, the NHL came to a screeching halt on March 12. One day after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic amid a worldwide coronavirus outbreak, the NHL indefinitely suspended the season. The NHL and all other professional and amateur sports organizations followed the lead of the NBA, which halted its season the night before after a player tested positive for the extremely contagious virus, which has sickened millions and killed hundreds of thousands around the globe.

• On May 26, Commissioner Gary Bettman declared the regular season over and announced a unique 24-team playoff format. The top four teams in each conference played a round-robin tournament under regular season OT rules to determine seeding, while the bottom eight played a best-of-five qualifying series under playoff OT rules to determine who advanced to the conference quarterfinals. All matchups were determined based on seeds, with the highest seed playing the lowest seed, the second-highest seed playing the second-lowest seed, etc. With teams not playing an equal number of games, the 2019-20 standings were determined by points percentage.

• On July 23, every purist's worst nightmare came true, as the new Seattle franchise christened itself as the Kraken.

• The season finally resumed on August 1st with the aforementioned qualifying round. Two bubbles were established -- all Eastern Conference teams played in Toronto, while all Western Conference teams played in Edmonton. The Canadiens and Blackhawks, who each finished in 12th place in their respective conferences and would otherwise be enjoying the Stanley Cup playoffs from the comforts of their living rooms, took full advantage of their golden opportunity and won their way into the conference quarterfinals. In round robin play, both first-place finishers in the regular season, the Bruins and the Blues (who met in the previous season's Stanley Cup Final) finished last and entered the conference quarterfinals seeded fourth.

• Nearly a full year after the regular season began, the season finally reached its conclusion. The Tampa Bay Lightning atoned for their epic meltdown of a season ago and won the Stanley Cup, beating the Dallas Stars in six games.

Anaheim Ducks

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Dallas Stars

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Tampa Bay Lightning

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2020 All-Star Tournament
St. Louis, MO