BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Sabres 2019-2020 season is officially over.
When the NHL starts back up, it will go straight to the playoffs but include 24 teams. The Sabres are not one of those 24 teams.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Tuesday when 2019-2020 season will resume, it will not continue the regular season but rather the playoffs with 12 teams from the Eastern and Western conference will make it based on points percentage.
The top four teams in each conference ranked by points percentage will play round-robin tournaments to decide seeding.
The rest of the 16 teams will play a best-of-five series called the qualifying round. Winners advance to the “first-round”.
This is now the ninth straight season the Sabres have not made the postseason. With this format, they were the first team out in the East. Montreal was the last team to make the cut in the Eastern conference.
New Jersey, Ottawa and Detroit also join Buffalo as the rest of the teams in the Eastern conference that did not make the playoffs.
The seven teams in the league that did not make it will enter the draft lottery which includes the Sabres. Also entering the draft lottery are the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round. The draft lottery will take place in one or two phases. The first phase will happen on June 26th.
The Sabres have a 6.5% chance of getting the first-overall pick which is based on point percentage during the regular season.
In the first phase, if a team not in the bottom seven wins any of the first three drawings used to determine the first, second and third overall picks, then a phase two is needed among the eight teams that lost in the qualifying round.
The NHL’s season paused on March 12th due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sabres released this statement regarding ticket refund information:
Fans who purchased individual game tickets, group tickets, or Mini Packs for any of the six remaining home games by credit card on Sabres.com, Tickets.com, KeyBankCenter.com or at the KeyBank Center Box Office will be automatically refunded in about 10 business days. Those who purchased individual game tickets for those games at the KeyBank Center Box Office with cash can submit for a refund here. Fans who purchased tickets for those games through third parties will need to contact that re-seller about refund information.