Following a meeting and a vote by the union’s executive board, the National Hockey League Players’ Association has voted to move forward with the NHL’s proposed 24 team playoff format.

That statement is basically all that was approved. The NHLPA is good with the general playoff concept and now they’ll hammer out the details. That means that there will be a best-of-five play-in round, with the top four teams in each conference playing a round robin among themselves.

Again, under this format, the Flames would have a play-in series against the Winnipeg Jets.

Per TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, the vote was 29-2 in favour of the format.

This is the first step of roughly 20 steps that have to happen in a precise order for hockey to get going again. Several of those steps are out of the NHL’s hands. But it’s beginning to look like there’s a plan for hockey to return before the end of 2020.

Well, presuming a dozen or so other things break the right way, too.