Early this week the NHL served notice that upon the return to action they are look at the possibility of a 24 team playoff format over to “hub” NHL cities.
The NHL is scheduled to host a call with the NHL Players Association executive board Thursday, and return-to-play proposals will be discussed.
Speculation is that instead of finishing out the current season, the league would move to a 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs with a drastically different format than a normal postseason.
Under this format Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars would all receive first-round byes based on conference standings prior to the shutdown—though they would play each other in a three-game tournament so they aren’t sitting idly by.
Here’s how the remaining matchups would look:
No. 5 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 12 Chicago Blackhawks
No. 6 Nashville Predators vs. No. 11 Arizona Coyotes
No. 7 Vancouver Canucks vs. No. 10 Minnesota Wild
No. 8 Calgary Flames vs. No. 9 Winnipeg Jets
No. 5 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 12 Montreal Canadiens
No. 6 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 11 New York Rangers
No. 7 New York Islanders vs. No. 10 Florida Panthers
No. 8 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 9 Columbus Blue Jackets