NHL players approve 24-team conference playoff format; upcoming negotiations


NHL Players’ Association Board of Directors approved Friday night’s 24-game NHL playoff format pending further negotiations on issues related to the resumption of competition, Washington Post reports. . It is not known when the teams will officially return to the ice.

“The NHLPA executive council has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return-to-play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup,” NHLPA said in a statement Friday night. “Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the agreement of the parties on all questions relating to the resumption of the game.”

There is also no word on logistics regarding the hubs. In addition, even after the vote, the league and the players’ union still have to negotiate other elements such as the cities hosting the games, testing and safety protocols.

In this particular format, the top four seeds (determined by percentage points) in the East would be the Boston Bruins, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers. The top four teams from the West are the St. Louis Blues, the Colorado Avalanche, the Vegas Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars.

According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, these eight teams would receive exemptions through a play-in tournament, but would participate in a three-game tournament in order to stay up to date.

The rest of the post-season would be “in square brackets”:

  • The seeded n ° 5 faces the seeded n ° 12 (the winner plays the seeded n ° 4)
  • N ° 6 vs n ° 11 (the winner plays the seed n ° 3)
  • N ° 7 against 10 (the winner faces the seeded n ° 2)
  • N ° 8 against n ° 9 (the winner plays the seed n ° 1)

If the NHL decides to go ahead with this format, here is what the opening rounds of each conference would look like:


  • Penguins against Canadians
  • Hurricanes vs. Rangers
  • Islanders vs. Panthers
  • Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets

Where is

  • Oilers vs. Blackhawks
  • Predators vs. Coyotes
  • Canucks vs. Wild
  • Flames vs. Jets

The play-in series would be a best-of-five while the rest of the post-season series would all be in the best of the seven formats.

“I feel like if you do the 24 team thing, it basically gives a team a chance that had no chance of doing it, which if you play 82, there might be 6, 8% chance of the team in 12th place (in, “Carolina Hurricanes player representative Jordan Martinook said on Wednesday.” No one has ever seen this before, but at the end of the day, the playoffs of the Stanley Cup are made up of 16 teams, seven games per series. ”

Pierre LeBrun of Athletic recently reported that the NHL and AJLNH advanced 24-team playoff format. Clearly, both sides thought more about the idea, which led to this conference-based configuration which has now been approved.

Currently, there are 189 regular season games remaining on the NHL calendar after the season ends on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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