The hearsay mill continues to churn, however one factor seems to be an increasing number of particular: a 2020 Stanley Cup champion might be topped.
When it’s going to occur continues to be in flux due to things like location, coronavirus testing, the U.S.-Canada border closures, restricted entry from Europe and necessary 14-day quarantines to anybody getting into Canada.
No matter these variables, it appears the NHL and the NHL Gamers’ Affiliation, via their joint Return to Play Committee, are inching nearer to summer time hockey. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont wrote (subscription required) that the Bruins might be able to get again on the ice, albeit in small teams, by June 1 underneath Section 2 of the league’s reopening protocols, with the playoffs beginning July 1.
This is every thing we all know up to now in regards to the NHL’s potential return to the ice:
What number of groups would return?
In line with a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Could 20, it appears to be like as if the league, the gamers and the Return to Play Committee are zeroing in on a 24-team playoff.
John Carlson, talking on @LunchTalkNBCSN, not an enormous fan of the reported 24-team playoff format: “24 groups feels like a whole lot of groups to me if I’m being sincere.”
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) Could 21, 2020
The highest 24 groups primarily based on factors share — groups had not all performed the identical variety of video games when the season was paused on March 12 — can be seeded 1-12 in every convention. Seven groups would not resume play and would then enter the draft lottery.
|2||Tampa Bay Lightning||43-21-6||.657|
|7||New York Islanders||35-23-10||.588|
|8||Toronto Maple Leafs||36-25-9||.579|
|9||Columbus Blue Jackets||33-33-15||.579|
|11||New York Rangers||37-28-5||.564|
|1||St. Louis Blues||42-19-10||.662|
|3||Vegas Golden Knights||39-24-8||.606|
Groups that might not return
|New Jersey Devils||28-29-12||.493|
|Los Angeles Kings||29-35-6||.457|
|San Jose Sharks||29-36-5||.450|
|Detroit Pink Wings||17-49-5||.275|
How would the playoffs work?
Brackets! Who would not love a bracket?
Within the proposed format, there would an NCAA-style bracket with none reseeding.
In line with Friedman, the highest 4 seeds in every convention would obtain byes and the “play-in collection” can be a best-of-five format.
Jap Convention opening-round collection
|(5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (12) Montreal Canadiens|
|(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) New York Rangers|
|(7) New York Islanders vs. (10) Florida Panthers|
|(8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (9) Columbus Blue Jackets|
Western Convention opening-round collection
|(5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (12) Chicago Blackhawks|
|(6) Nashville Predators vs. (11) Arizona Coyotes|
|(7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (10) Minnesota Wild|
|(8) Calgary Flames vs. (9) Winnipeg Jets|
As soon as these collection are determined and the Stanley Cup playoffs are right down to the standard 16 groups, the 4 groups that acquired byes would then enter the bracket for a best-of-seven collection.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported Thursday that the 4 prime groups might play in a mini-round-robin match of their very own to find out ultimate seeding.
If the seeding stays the identical for these 4 groups, then that is how the Spherical of 16 would shake out — and, sure, that would imply a Maple Leafs-Bruins “first-round matchup.”
Jap Convention second-round collection
|(1) Boston Bruins vs. winner of Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets|
|(2) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. winner of Islanders-Panthers|
|(3) Washington Capitals vs. winner of Hurricanes-Rangers|
|(4) Philadelphia Flyers vs. winner of Penguins-Canadiens|
Western Convention second-round collection
|(1) St. Louis Blues vs. winner of Flames-Jets|
|(2) Colorado Avalanche vs. winner of Canucks-Wild|
|(3) Vegas Golden Knights vs. winner of Predators-Coyotes|
|(4) Dallas Stars vs. winner of Oilers-Blackhawks|
The place will the video games be held?
“Hub cities” is the magic phrase in sports activities proper now and the NHL seems to be following that path. With the vast majority of NHL cities both a COVID-19 hotspot or underneath a ban on public gatherings via the summer time, it’s turning into extra obvious that is the route the league must take.
In line with reviews, the NHL has acquired bids from a number of groups together with Columbus, Las Vegas, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver. Within the “hub metropolis” gamers can be quarantined to attenuate the potential of an infection.
TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted Thursday that the Oilers’ hometown is rolling out the purple carpet for the NHL — providing up every thing from golf programs to a colder, extra hockey-centric local weather.
Curious what NHL gamers take into consideration this? Edmonton is rolling out a powerful “life-style” presentation in its Hub metropolis quest. Secured golf course. Cool temps. Out of doors large screens for motion pictures/different video games. Some enjoyable stuff deliberate. Extra tonight in Insider Buying and selling.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) Could 21, 2020
Will followers be capable to attend?
Most likely not. The league has appeared into it however the issues are huge.
The NHL and groups have finished social distancing fashions for individuals in seats…most arenas, primarily based on individuals being 6 toes aside in each route…would solely be capable to host 2000 to 2500 followers at a recreation. A little bit of a non-starter.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) Could 20, 2020