NHL releases 24-team playoff format and details on return to play plan


The 2019-2020 NHL regular season is officially over. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Tuesday that the league will transition to a 24-team conference playoff format when the game resumes. He also announced and explained the specific details under which the NHL will evolve once the playoffs begin.

Here are the details of the playoff format described by Bettman:

  • There is no set start date for the return of the game.
  • Two main cities – one for Eastern Conference games and one for Western Conference games – will be announced at a later date
  • Teams will be limited to 50 people in their respective hub city. A small number of support staff will also be allowed in the event arenas
  • A complete COVID-19 test system will be implemented
  • Phase 2 of the return to play plan is expected to begin in early June, but there is still no official date
  • Phase 3 will include the start of training camp and is scheduled for early July
  • Phase 4, which has no target date yet, will include the return of play with clubs competing in two main cities for the round robin, qualifying rounds and Stanley Cup playoffs.

The NHL is currently considering Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis / St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver as hub cities.

In this particular playoff format, the top four seeds (determined by percentage points) in the East would be the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and 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. These eight teams will compete in a round robin to determine the standings for the first round.

Here’s what each game’s turn will look like:


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Bettman also announced that the league has yet to decide whether it is a support format or determined by the standings after the first round. The first round will be in a best of five series format while the second round will be switched to a best of seven series format. The conference finals and Stanley Cup finals will also be held in the traditional best of formats format. seven.


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