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.
The NHLPA Executive Board has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format, subject to reaching an overall agreement with the League on resuming the 2019-20 season: https://t.co/SIzQYyooEE pic.twitter.com/9TftmApiGJ
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) May 23, 2020
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.
Even with this affirmative vote, there are still some details with the 24-team playoff format still to be worked out between the NHL and NHLPA. One of them is whether they'll go ahead with a playoff bracket or use reseeding.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 23, 2020
Per TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, the vote was 29-2 in favour of the format.
To recap: the NHLPA has agreed to the format itself even though there are other important issues and elements to negotiate. The NHL now will go through its own process and I would expect some form of announcement within the next few days.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 23, 2020
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.