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AP source: The NHLPA board is voting on a 24-team playoff format to return — and the Blackhawks would benefit

AP source: The NHLPA board is voting on a 24-team playoff format to return — and the Blackhawks would benefit

By Stephen Whyno and John Wawrow

Associated Press

May 21, 2020 11: 01 PM

The NHL Players’ Association’s exec board is voting on a 24-group playoff proposition as the return to play format, according to a individual with understanding of the circumstance.

The individual talked to The Associated Press on problem of privacy Thursday evening since the ballot was still continuous. Results of the ballot can be in as quickly as Friday evening.

Even if the exec board ballots to authorize the format, it doesn’t yet seal the offer for the NHL period returning to. The organization and gamers union still require to discuss various other information, consisting of wellness and safety and security procedures.

But the format is a considerable item of the return-to-play challenge.

Under the strategy recommended by the joint NHL/NHLPA Return To Play Committee, the leading 4 groups in each of the Eastern and Western meetings would play each various other for seeding while the continuing to be 16 groups challenge in a best-of-five collection play-in round to collection the last 16 to contend for the Stanley Cup.

That would imply byes for Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia in the East and protecting champ St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas in West. Pittsburgh, Carolina the New York Islanders and Rangers, Toronto, Columbus, Florida and Montreal would likewise make it in the East and Edmonton, Nashville, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Arizona and the Blackhawks in the West.

When play was put on hold in March, the Blackhawks were on the beyond the postseason photo searching in, 6 factors behind Nashville for the 2nd wild-card area with 12 video games to play.

“I feel like if you’re doing the 24-team thing, it basically gives a team a chance that had no chance of making it, which if you play 82 there’s maybe 6, 8% chance that the team in 12th place (in the conference) makes it,” Carolina gamer rep Jordan Martinook stated Wednesday, greater than 24 hrs prior to the exec board conference. “Nobody’s ever seen this before, but at the end of the day, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are 16 teams, seven games a series.”

This format would lead to the standard 4 rounds of seven-game collection.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a perfect scenario where everyone’s super excited about,” Nashville’s Ryan Johansen stated earlier Thursday. “As long as everybody can agree and be happy with the decision that will be made, that’s really all that matters.”

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If the NHLPA’s exec board and the organization’s board of guvs authorize the strategy, the that of returning would be established. The where, when and exactly how need to still be identified, consisting of the number of cities will certainly hold video games, quarantine guidelines and screening.

“Nothing’s really certain until it’s certain, so things can change so quickly and they have on different things,” Return to Play board participant James van Riemsdyk of the Flyers stated Wednesday. “We’re trying to keep as many options open and navigate through different things and hopefully come up with a vision that obviously first and foremost is the health and safety of everyone.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman today stated the organization was considering 8 or 9 places to act as center cities for the resumption of the period.

It’s vague when the organization and gamers will certainly concur to start the 2nd stage of prep work for return, which would be the resuming of group method centers and volunteer exercises. The list below action would after that most likely be a three-week training school prior to video games return to.

“Obviously it’s an important thing to navigate through all the different issues that there are so that ultimately we can try to find a safe way to get things going here,” van Riemsdyk stated. “There’s been some different talks and things like that and talking about a bunch of different things and trying to sort through some different issues.”

Associated Press sportswriter Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, added to this record.

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