The 2019–20 NHL season is the 103rd season of operation (102nd season of play) of the National Hockey League. 31 teams are competing in an 82-game regular season. The regular season began on October 2, 2019, and was originally scheduled to end on April 4, 2020. The 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs would have originally began a few days afterwards, with the Stanley Cup Finals held in late May and early June. The entire schedule was released on June 25, 2019. On March 12, 2020, the regular season was paused due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is in its eighth season. Before the season started, both the NHL and the NHLPA had the choice to opt out of the CBA on September 1 and September 16, 2019, respectively. If either of them had opted out, the CBA would have expired at the end of this season. On August 30, the NHL announced that they would not opt out. On September 16, the NHLPA then also agreed not to opt out; therefore, the CBA will run its course until the end of the 2021–22 season.
The salary cap is $81.5 million, as announced on June 22, 2019.
Seattle expansion team
On July 17, 2019, the Seattle expansion team, set to begin play in the 2021–22 season, hired Ron Francis as their first general manager. On August 22, 2019, the club stated that they will unveil their team name in early 2020.
The following rule changes were proposed June 19, 2019 and approved the next day:
In the event a net is inadvertently knocked off its moorings, or if a puck shot from beyond center ice is stopped and frozen by the goaltender, the face-off will take place in the goaltender's defensive zone, with the team on offense given choice of side. In such cases, the defensive team will not be allowed to make a line change.
A puck that leaves out of play in the offensive zone will remain in the offensive zone for the next face-off.
Players that lose their helmet during play must return to the bench as soon as it is feasible until it can be replaced, or the player must retrieve their helmet.
Linesmen will now drop the puck at centre ice after goals and at the start of overtime instead of the referees.
Teams now have an unlimited number of coach's challenges, but failed challenges will now result in delay-of-game penalties instead of the loss of their timeout. The first failed challenge will result in a two-minute minor, and each subsequent failed challenge will result in a four-minute double-minor.
A team may challenge goals that follow plays in the offensive zone that should have instead resulted in a stoppage before the puck went into the net. Missed stoppages include hand passes, pucks high-sticked to a teammate, and pucks hitting the netting or going into the players bench. The delay-of-game penalty for pucks going over the glass will still not be reviewable under this situation.
All match and major penalties excluding fighting will be required to video review; officials will reserve the authority to reduce the penalty to a minor penalty depending on the result of the review, but referees cannot rescind a penalty altogether.
Referees have the option to review high-sticking double minors at their discretion and without consultation with the NHL's Situation Room.
The league eliminates the use of goal judges and assigns those duties to the in-house video replay official.
Modification to the tie-breaking procedure
To put more emphasis on teams winning in regulation, regulation wins (tracked in an additional RW column in the league standings) will now precede regulation and overtime wins (ROW) in the tie-breaking procedure. The league also added goals scored as a new tiebreaker. 
Player and puck tracking technology
After testing at the 2019 National Hockey League All-Star Game, the NHL planned to deploy player and puck tracking systems to all 31 NHL arenas prior to the start of the 2019–20 season. This technology was developed in collaboration with a German Fraunhofer Institute using transmitters embedded inside pucks and jerseys. It enables on-air features such as speed displays, puck tracking graphics (reminiscent of the FoxTrax graphics utilized in the late 1990s by previous U.S. national NHL broadcaster Fox, also developed by Sportvision), and marker graphics hovering above players.
On September 5, 2019, it was reported that the league replaced its primary technology partner in its tracking technology, and thus the system likely would not get up and running until the 2020 playoffs.
This is the final season of Sportsnet's regional rights to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. In December 2019, after having aired the first-ever NHL broadcast in the language earlier in the year, it was announced that the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) would air six of Sportsnet's Hometown Hockey games per season in Plains Cree over the next three years.
Carlyle was fired on February 10, 2019, nearly three years into his second stint with the team. He won the Stanley Cup in 2007, but since then had made the playoffs only two times. General manager Murray took over as interim coach until the end of the season. Eakins was hired on June 17, 2019. Eakins most recently served as the head coach of the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL) from 2015 to 2019.
Housley was fired April 7, 2019, after two seasons and a 58–84–22 record with the Sabres. Housley finished his first season in last place, and squandered a 10-game winning streak in his second season only to collapse and miss the playoffs. Krueger was hired May 15, 2019. He did not coach ice hockey full-time since his only previous NHL coaching stint, a half-season with the Edmonton Oilers in 2013, ended with his firing.
Hitchcock was dismissed after Ken Holland became the general manager of the Oilers on May 7, 2019. Tippett was hired on May 28. He last served as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes from 2009 to 2017.
Boughner was fired on April 7, 2019. In two seasons, the Panthers went 79–62–22 and never qualified for the playoffs under Boughner. On April 8, Quenneville was hired as the team's new head coach. Quenneville most recently served as the head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks (2008–2018), and guided them to three Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He accumulated an overall record of 797–452–249 with the team.
Stevens was fired on November 4, 2018, after starting the season 4–8–1, reaching the first round of the playoffs in his only full season as coach. Former Vancouver Canucks' head coach Desjardins was named the interim coach for the team. On April 16, 2019, the team hired McLellan as franchise's 29th head coach. McLellan most recently served as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers (2015–2018) guiding the team to one playoff berth. Overall, McLellan has a 434–282–90 record including a 37–38 postseason record.
Boucher was fired on March 1, 2019, after three seasons with the team, his best season being the 2016–17 season when the team reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Crawford, who previously coached the Dallas Stars, was named the Senators' interim head coach. On May 23, the team hired Smith as their head coach. He most recently served as an assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Hakstol was fired on December 17, 2018, after three and a half years with the team where he guided them to two playoff appearances. Former New York Islanders' head coach Gordon was named interim coach. Vigneault was hired on April 15, 2019. Vigneault most recently served as the head coach of the New York Rangers, guiding them to a 226–147–37 record in five seasons (2013–2018).
Yeo was fired on November 19, 2018, after almost two years with the team and only one playoff appearance. Berube, who had served as assistant coach with the Blues since 2017, was named interim head coach. After coaching the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2019, Berube was named permanent head coach on June 24, 2019.
Peters resigned on November 29, 2019, after accusations of racism were made by former Rockford IceHogs player Akim Aliu when Peters was coaching the AHL club a decade earlier. Peters spent 1⅓ seasons with the Flames, registering a record of 12–12–4 to start the season after reaching the first round of the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference the previous season. Ward, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.
Montgomery was dismissed on December 10, 2019 due to "unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs" of the Stars and the league. He spent 1⅓ seasons with the Stars, registering a record of 17–11–3 to start the season after reaching the second round of the playoffs the previous season. Bowness, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.
Boudreau was fired on February 14, 2020, after 3⅔ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 27–23–7 to start the season. The Wild had reached the playoffs in the first two seasons of his tenure in Minnesota but had not qualified for the playoffs since the 2017–18 season. Evason, who had served as an assistant coach with the Wild since the start of the 2018–19 season, was immediately named interim head coach.
Laviolette was fired on January 6, 2020, after 5½ seasons with the team, which had registered a 19–15–7 record to start the season. The Predators made the playoffs in all five seasons under Laviolette, advanced to the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals and won the Presidents' Trophy in the 2017–18 season. Hynes, who previously served as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils, was hired on January 7, 2020.
Hynes was fired on December 3, 2019, after 4⅓ seasons with the team, which had registered a 9–13–4 record to start the season. The Devils reached the playoffs once in Hynes' tenure, and did not advance past the first round in 2018. Nasreddine, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.
DeBoer was fired on December 11, 2019, after 4⅓ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 15–16–2 to start the season. The Sharks qualified for the playoffs in all of the four previous seasons under DeBoer, and advanced to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals. Boughner, who served as an assistant coach, was named interim head coach.
Babcock was fired on November 20, 2019, after 4¼ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 9–10–4 to start the season after reaching the first round of the playoffs in the previous three seasons. Keefe, who had served as the head coach of the Toronto Marlies of the AHL from 2015 to 2019, was subsequently named as the team's next head coach.
Gallant was fired on January 15, 2020, after a little more than 2½ seasons with the team, which had registered a record of 24–19–6 to start the season. The Golden Knights had reached the playoffs in their first two seasons of existence, including advancing to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals in their debut season. Gallant earned the Jack Adams Award that season. DeBoer, who had been fired as the head coach of the San Jose Sharks one month earlier, was subsequently named as the team's second head coach.
Chiarelli was fired on January 22, 2019, after four years as the Oilers' general manager. Gretzky, the brother of former NHL player Wayne Gretzky, was named interim general manager. Holland was hired on May 7, 2019.
McCrimmon was promoted to general manager, effective September 1, 2019, on May 2, 2019. McPhee will remain Director of Hockey Operations of the Golden Knights, but McCrimmon will represent them at the league's general manager meetings and be the point of contact for other general managers.
As the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, concern began to build that large crowds at sporting events would spread the COVID-19 disease. In early March 2020, the NHL suspended media access to the locker rooms, saying that only official personnel would be allowed in after the games to limit person-to-person contact. But after the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended all games when two players tested positive for the disease, the NHL scheduled a meeting to discuss pausing the season. On March 12, the morning practice sessions and media access were canceled for all teams. Shortly after, they announced the 2019–20 season was paused indefinitely. On March 17, it was announced that a player from the Ottawa Senators tested positive for COVID-19. On March 21, it was announced that a second Senators player tested positive for COVID-19.
Updated to game(s) played on March 11, 2020. Source: National Hockey League
Fewer number of games played (only used during regular season).
Greater number of regulation wins (denoted by RW).
Greater amount of wins in regulation and overtime (excluding shootout wins; denoted by ROW).
Greater amount of total wins (including shootouts).
Greater number of points earned in head-to-head play; if teams played an uneven number of head-to-head games, the result of the first game on the home ice of the team with the extra home game is discarded.
Greater goal differential (difference between goals for and goals against).
Greater amount of goals scored (denoted by GF).
The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of games played on March 11, 2020.
On February 1, 2020, Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 345th player to reach the mark.
On February 1, 2020, St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 346th player to reach the mark.
On February 4, 2020, San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton became the 14th player to score 1,500 points.
On February 7, 2020, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins became the first rookie goaltender to have five shutouts in an eight-game span since Frank Brimsek (1938–39).
On February 7, 2020, Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 347th player to reach the mark.
On February 13, 2020, Dallas Stars forward Andrew Cogliano played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 348th player to reach the mark.
The Buffalo Sabres introduced a 50th-anniversary third jersey that is plain white, with old gold trim and navy blue lettering. It will be the last season the team uses navy blue; a royal blue jersey will be introduced in 2020–21.
The Carolina Hurricanes introduced a new road jersey, featuring the wordmark "Canes" written diagonally across the front. The jersey also incorporates the Hurricanes' secondary logo introduced by the team's alternate jersey during the previous season.
The Los Angeles Kings introduced a 1990s throwback jersey for the 2019–20 season, which was inspired by the Kings' white home jersey worn from 1988 to 1998. The team is scheduled to wear the jersey twice during the season.
The St. Louis Blues introduced a 1990s throwback jersey for the 2019–20 season, which was inspired by the Blues' blue road jersey worn from 1995 to 1998. The team is scheduled to wear the jersey in three home games during the season.
The Vancouver Canucks, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the franchise in the NHL, introduced brand new home and away jerseys that will be worn during the season. The Canucks will also wear brand new third jerseys for select games. In addition, the Canucks will wear their 1990s throwback jerseys for select games. The design was chosen via an online vote over two other throwback jersey options.