AP supply: NHLPA board voting on playoff format to return

The NHL Gamers’ Affiliation’s govt board is voting on a 24-team playoff proposal because the return to play format, in keeping with an individual with information of the state of affairs.

The individual spoke to The Related Press on situation of anonymity Thursday evening as a result of the vote was nonetheless ongoing. Outcomes of the vote may very well be in as quickly as Friday evening.

Even when the chief board votes to approve the format, it doesn’t but seal the deal for the NHL season resuming. The league and gamers union nonetheless want to barter different particulars, together with well being and security protocols.

However the format is a considerable piece of the return to play puzzle.

Below the plan proposed by the joint NHL/NHLPA Return To Play Committee, the highest 4 groups in every of the Jap and Western Conferences would play one another for seeding whereas the remaining 16 groups face off in a best-of-five collection play-in spherical to set the ultimate 16 to compete for the Stanley Cup.

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

“I really feel like when you’re doing the 24-team factor, it mainly offers a group an opportunity that had no likelihood of creating it, which when you play 82 there’s perhaps 6, 8% likelihood that the group in 12th place (within the convention) makes it,” Carolina participant consultant Jordan Martinook mentioned Wednesday, greater than 24 hours earlier than the chief board assembly. “No person’s ever seen this earlier than, however on the finish of the day, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are 16 groups, seven video games a collection.”

This format would result in the normal 4 rounds of seven-game collection.

“I don’t suppose there’s going to be an ideal state of affairs the place everybody’s tremendous enthusiastic about,“ Nashville’s Ryan Johansen mentioned earlier Thursday. “So long as all people can agree and be proud of the choice that will probably be made, that’s actually all that issues.”

If the NHLPA’s govt board and the league’s board of governors approve the plan, the who of returning can be set. The the place, when and the way should nonetheless be decided, together with what number of cities will host video games, quarantine laws and testing.

“Nothing’s actually sure till it’s sure, so issues can change so rapidly and so they have on various things,” Return to Play committee member James van Riemsdyk of the Flyers mentioned Wednesday. “We’re making an attempt to maintain as many choices open and navigate by means of various things and hopefully provide you with a imaginative and prescient that clearly at first is the well being and security of everybody.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman this week mentioned the league was taking a look at eight or 9 areas to function hub cities for the resumption of the season.

It’s unclear when the league and gamers will agree to start the second section of preparations for return, which might be the reopening of group follow amenities and voluntary exercises. The next step would then probably be a three-week coaching camp earlier than video games resume.

“Clearly it’s an necessary factor to navigate by means of all of the completely different points that there are in order that in the end we will attempt to discover a protected option to get issues going right here,” van Riemsdyk mentioned. “There’s been some completely different talks and issues like that and speaking a few bunch of various issues and making an attempt to kind by means of some completely different points.”

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