National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league’s plan to return to play Tuesday.
Among the many revelations, Bettman revealed the 2019-20 regular season has been completed. Instead, the league will transition to a 24-team playoff, which was approved by the NHL Players Association.
While some hockey fans may have been holding out hope for a regular-season return, Bettman’s announcement carries positive news for the Boston Bruins, and specifically David Pastrnak.
Pastrnak, who was approaching the 50-goal mark before the regular season was paused in mid-March, ultimately was tied for the league lead in goals scored (48). And now with the regular-season officially concluded, Pastrnak, along with Washington Capitals eight-time winner Alex Ovechkin, were named co-winners of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer(s).
Pastrnak is the first Bruins player to win the award, while Cam Neely remains the last player in the organization to score 50 goals in a season (1993-94).
Pastrnak, who turned 24 on Monday, tallied 95 points in 70 regular-season games during his most recent campaign. He scored 48 goals to go along with 47 assists, all three of which — points, goals and assists — were career-highs despite coming during a shortened season.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images