NHL Returning? NHLPA Agrees to 24 Team Playoff Format.
Andrew Dewhirst reacts to the breaking news that the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to a return plan that would result in a 24 team playoff format.
It’s official, the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to return to play with a 24 team tournament! The regular season will end as is and we will have a 24 team playoff. This is the format, as we know it today. The top 4 teams from each conference will play a round-robin tournament to decide seeding in each conference, and we will see a best of 5 series with the remaining 16 teams. These are the tentative matchups. I call these tentative, as these matchups that have been proposed, but this is yet to be finalized by the NHL, and they don’t’ directly match up to the current standings.
While last night’s NHLPA executive committee conference call got a little heated at times, and various individual players still have a wide variety of views on the NHL’s RTP format, the exec committee vote by team is expected to result in NHLPA approval of the NHL plan.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 22, 2020
As per @FriedgeHNIC and @reporterchris, the NHL and NHLPA are working on various Stanley Cup Playoff scenarios. Here's what a 24-team, conference-based setup with a play-in round could potentially look like.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 21, 2020
Details: https://t.co/GgNJC9h5Ax pic.twitter.com/1XFFgKpush
Top 4 Seeds: Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington, and Philadelphia
Pittsburgh vs Montreal
Carolina vs New York Rangers
New York Islanders vs Florida
Toronto vs Columbus
Top 4 Seeds: St.Louis, Colorado, Vegas, Dallas
Edmonton vs Chicago
Nashville vs Arizona
Vancouver vs Minnesota
Calgary vs Winnipeg
If these are the matchups that we see play out, there will be some fun series to follow and storylines that will go along with them. We do not yet know where these games will be played, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was quoted earlier in the week noting that they are looking at "probably eight or nine different places" that can accommodate "a dozen or so teams in one location". Buckle up! Hockey is coming back, and when it does it will be coming at your quickly with a lot of games to play in what is likely to be a condensed schedule.