The NHLPA has voted to move forward with a 24-team playoff format. Specifics surrounding the format have yet to be finalized, but we do know there will be some form of a play-in round.
The NHLPA released this statement after voting in favour of the format:
“The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup. Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play.”
All there is for certain is that there will be 24 teams returning to play. The proposed format features eight teams getting a bye (top four from each conference) while the remaining teams undergo a play-in series that could still be tweaked.
There are, however, a few things that need to be worked on:
- The bracket-style format needs to be worked on. The main issue there being you could have, for example, a 12 seed playing a 4 seed while an 8 or 9 takes on the number 1 seed. A simple re-seeding, however, could solve this.
- Draft positions still need to be ironed out. There’s been talk of using points percentage at the time of the pause, but now teams who were set to be playoff-bound could miss entirely due to the play-in format.
Once this format has been finalized, the league and player association have a number of other intricacies to iron how; many of those include how to keep everyone involved safe, how much freedom people may have, as well as where the games are going to be played.
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