NHL, NHLPA making progress on 24-team playoff format?

With loads of choices out there to the NHL in relation to resuming play, progress is being made towards a potential playoff format. In line with The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the Return to Play Committee is leaning towards a 24-team playoff format to wrap up the 2019-20 season.

LeBrun experiences, nevertheless, that there’s fairly a bit of labor nonetheless to be performed if a 24-team playoff is to turn into a actuality, however there was vital progress made this weekend. Talks are anticipated to proceed over the subsequent couple of days with the potential {that a} plan will formally be outlined subsequent week, as either side are a lot nearer on what a return to motion may appear like. In fact, as soon as the Return to Play Committee does come to an settlement, it should cross by way of the NHL Govt Board and be accepted.

On prime of that, there’s a Board of Governors assembly on Monday. Whether or not NHL commissioner Gary Bettman can have a deal able to cross on by then is unknown until the Return to Play Committee can come to an settlement within the subsequent 24 hours.

The still-developing plan wouldn’t be a straight-to-the-playoffs format, nevertheless. In line with LeBrun, the league will doubtless have some video games earlier than the playoffs would start, most likely to ease groups into enjoying form after the numerous break resulting from COVID-19. There’s additionally the difficulty on whether or not all gamers will probably be on board to returning to motion later this 12 months, as it’s believed some are critically involved in regards to the well being and issues of safety that encompass a return to play.

Whereas there are a selection of 24-team format choices, LeBrun writes in a separate story that there was some opposition to a 24-team match, particularly with groups like Chicago (32-30-Eight for 72 factors) and Montreal (31-31-9 for 71 factors) being the final two groups to enter into the playoffs once they don’t deserve it and the issues {that a} sizzling begin after a protracted break may create some vital upsets on this format.

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