Any coach contemplating applying for the All Blacks job later this year, will now be wondering whether 2020 sits as a year of opportunity or a hospital pass with the potential to seriously damage a tenure beyond repair.
Brodie Retallick will not be available at any stage of the test season. Sam Whitelock is going to be available but via a circuitous route of having played in Japan rather than in Super Rugby and the expectation is that Beauden Barrett will not be involved in Super Rugby due to a sabbatical and may not be available for all or indeed any of the tests.
Also confirmed is that Kieran Read won't be here and nor will Owen Franks. Liam Squire is going, Ryan Crotty and Ben Smith have signed offshore contracts and most likely Sonny Bill Williams won't be playing rugby in New Zealand in 2020.
That's a serious loss of experience, leadership and ability and not helped by the fact that some of the likely replacements such as Luke Whitelock, Jackson Hemopo, Elliot Dixon and Matt Proctor are also leaving.
Whoever takes over the All Blacks is going to be faced with a number of challenges in trying to continue the success enjoyed under departing coach Steve Hansen.
Not having Retallick will be the biggest blow. The giant lock is a sensational test footballer and the All Blacks have struggled on the occasions he's been unavailable in the last seven years.
They will also miss Read more than they might realise, both for his leadership and range of skills he brings at No 8.
Looking across the country now there is not anyone who appears remotely ready to offer the same work rate, off-loading and lineout portfolio.
Smith is another incredible footballer with a breadth of skills and innate knowledge of how and when to use them.
His aerial game will be most missed as he brings the dual ability to be both a kick-and-chase player as well as an out and out finisher.
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The future could certainly be viewed as daunting and 2020 as a year in which the All Blacks could be knocked a little off their perch.
But just as conceivably, 2020 could be a year that once again showcases New Zealand's infallible ability to keep regenerating itself.
The new coach will only be appointed if they are able to convince New Zealand Rugby that they see the future as a chance to take the All Blacks higher; to build them into a better team they are now.
Around the world, rival nations may see that as wishful thinking but in the last decade New Zealand has seen legends of the game come and go and hardly skipped a beat. Every year it seems starts with gloomy predictions that the success story can't continue, that the quality isn't there to sustain the win ratio and 12 months later another incredible season is being toasted.
In the past, all it has taken for a new generation of stars to be born is opportunity.
Daniel Carter was supposedly irreplaceable but Barrett proved that wrong. He didn't re-invent his game in the wake of Carter's retirement, he simply blossomed as a consequence of being afforded regular game-time.
The same was true of Anton Lienert-Brown. He came into the team in 2016 when the midfield injury toll was extreme.
He was young, barely settled in Super Rugby and yet the All Blacks jersey came his way and he was outstanding.
It's so often what happens – the next guy in rises to the task and instantly delivers. Karl Tu'inukuafe is another who did just that when he started last year without a Super Rugby contract and ended it short-listed as a World Rugby breakthrough player.
So as easily as the All Blacks could come flying off the rails next year, so too could they see Nepo Laulala comfortably replace Franks.
Scott Barrett and Patrick Tuipulotu may advance to new levels as a result of Retallick not being around and maybe Akira Ioane could come in at No 8 and offer something different yet as compelling as the all-round game of Read.
Richie Mo'unga already looks poised to advance his claim as a world class No 10 and Damian McKenzie could play the other role which Barrett does so well, which is cutting teams up from fullback late in the game.
Tom Robinson could be the new Squire and the future, far from being one to be approached with a sense of dread, could be yet another year where the All Blacks seamlessly replace great players with great players.
The team, after all, won't be entirely devoid of experience. Dane Coles will be around as will Sam Cane and Ardie Savea.
Aaron Smith will close in on 100 caps this year and Whitelock, who appears destined to be installed as the new skipper, has had about as much exposure in the role as Read did before he took over permanently from Richie McCaw in 2016.
There were grim predictions about what might happen in 2016 and they were all defied when the All Blacks lost just one test and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the national team pull off the same trick in 2020.