By Larry Gelson

Approximately 55 million people watched the virtual NFL draft on TV last weekend.

So, why doesn’t the NHL take advantage of a golden opportunity to give sports viewers compelling hockey content to watch.

After taking in some admittedly awesome classic games on repeat and going through the NFL free agency period, there won’t be a lot of sports out there for at least the next few months as social distancing and self-quarantining continue to take precedence.

The NHL should do everything it can to put on their own virtual player draft in the usual month of June at a time when its players might even be ramping it back up for the completion of the 2019-20 regular season. For a league that’s always competing with the other three pro leagues for media attention and their share of the sports fan pie, holding the draft when literally nothing else is happening could allow them a major sporting world coup.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly reportedly sent a memo to all 31 NHL teams on Friday “enthusiastically in support of” still holding the draft in June with the league potentially looking to even move it up to a June 5 date.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for fan engagement,” Daly writes, per an ESPN.com report. “Fans have been missing NHL hockey for a month and a half. It’ll be three months when we get to June.”

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