We’ve been talking about it seemingly forever. Various fans have been mixed on whether there should be regular season games or playoffs or even anything at all. Many fans were outraged that the playoff format would involve 24 teams. Today Gary Bettman confirmed that that would be part of the plan for the reopening of the NHL postseason.
The Main Points:
- Twelve teams from each conference will be playing this postseason. Currently their seeding is determined by points percentage.
- Two cities will be considered as hubs for the postseason, with one representing The Eastern Conference and the other the Western. Only 50 personnel from each team will be permitted to travel to these cities and a small amount will be permitted at the event level. Bettman declined to name those two cities as of yet.
- Possible hub cities include: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and Toronto. Final determination will hinge upon current information of the outbreak in those cities, testing capabilities, and government regulations.
- All sorts of medical and safety precautions will be in place to test NHL players and team personnel. Self-quarantine will be in effect for all players and personnel.
- Teams will return to home cities in early June to begin playing in small practice groups with formal training camp beginning no earlier than July 1st.
- The top four teams in each conference will play each of the other teams in a round-robin format to determine seeding. Those games will abide by regular season rules regarding overtime and shootouts. Should there be a tie between teams, the points percentage will be used as a tie-breaker.
- The first round will be play-in round between teams 5-12 with playoff overtime rules in effect.
- At this time, players are still discussing whether or not there will be a re-seeding or a bracket structure to determine how the winners of the play-in round will face off against the round-robin teams. Also it’s unknown if the first two rounds will be best of 5 or best of 7. The conference finals and the Stanley Cup Final will be a best of 7.
- He discusses the draft lottery situation, which we will save for tomorrow.
So, with that, the regular season is done. Sadly, Pasta didn’t get the chance to score his 50 goals and remains tied with Alex Ovechkin for the most goals at 48. Although they should both share the Rocket Richard Trophy, word is that NHLPA head Don Fehr thinks that stats from the play in round could be counted with the regular season totals.
I just write’em.
NHLPA boss Don Fehr, to ESPN: “We haven’t decided where the statistics from the playoff round are going to go yet. It hasn’t been done.” https://t.co/Asq4TrDFCT
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 27, 2020
Of course someone wants Auston Matthews to win something. If the play-in goals are counted, then the round-robin ones should be as well.
With the regular season officially over, it seems that Jacobs’ should be able to disperse that $1.5 million fund they established for their employees who were unable to work the final games as they were cancelled.
Employees to receive word in next 48 hours. https://t.co/UfBkB0MLgu
— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) May 27, 2020
We’ll see what happens.