The NHL will likely utilize only two "hub" cities for its season restart if the proposed 24-team, conference-based playoff format is approved by the league and the NHLPA, an NHL source told ESPN. They'll play warmup games within their division while the other 16 teams play five-game series to get the playoffs down to their usual 16 teams. The 2019-20 campaign was halted with 189 games left on the slate, while clubs had played anywhere from 68 to 71 contests.
Under the plan, the top four seeds in each conference based on points would earn byes into the second round based on points percentage as of March 12, when the National Hockey League paused the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Western Conference, St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas will partake in the round-robin.
The NHL, which was forced to pause its season March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, still has plenty of issues to work out in order to resume game action, including receiving the go-ahead from government and health officials, timing, locations, testing procedures and ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
The fourth seed in each conference would face the victor of the matchup between the 5 and 12 seeds, with the No. 3 seed taking on the victor of the 6-11 matchup.
While it sounds like the new Conference-based plan has momentum and its adoption may be imminent, it's incumbent on the Oilers' representatives to clear their throats and make their case.
Notice how Buffalo didn't make it.
Have to admit I preferred a proposal previously doing the rounds, in which the teams were split into four groups of six (divisions, with the possibility of one wild card switching over in each conference).
Toronto defenceman Tyson Barrie conceded this week that any format would have its flaws.
Winnipeg sniper Patrik Laine said earlier Friday before the announcement that getting back on the ice is what matters.
Players and executives also aren't certain about the format itself.