NHL Players Agree to 24 Team Playoff

Devils mailbag Options on defense the GM coach jobs and quarantine activities

"The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players' Association has authorised further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the victor of the 2020 Stanley Cup", a statement from the NHLPA said.

The NHL on Friday took its biggest step yet toward returning to play when the NHL Players' Association signed off on a plan for a 24-team playoff format.

However, the union said via a statement that several details still need to be ironed out before an official agreement can be reached.

Traditionally 16 teams play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the National Hockey League is expected to adopt a 24-team format for this season due to the pandemic. From there, traditional best-of-seven series would follow through the Stanley Cup Final. The regular season was set to conclude in April, with the 16-team Stanley Cup Playoffs extending into early June.

The format would exclude the bottom seven teams in the season played thus far from the playoffs.

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This agreement simply authorizes further negotiation between the National Hockey League and NHLPA. and is the framework of a plan on which to build off since the regular season was placed on pause on March 12 amid the coronavius pandemic.

The Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers would advance from the Eastern Conference, while the St Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars would qualify from the West. A two-hub system would have 12 teams at each city, while a four-hub plan would have six squads at each site.

According to the report, details of player safety remain unsettled. The league would like to use a bracketed system while the players seem to prefer a system with re-seeding after each round.

In the East, the play-in series would have: No. 8 Toronto vs.

The league has been shuttered since March 12 when the coronavirus pandemic led to all major North American sports leagues suspending play to avoid creating an environment where the disease was likely to spread. No. 10 Florida, and No. 6 Carolina vs.

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