NHL Heading to 24 Team Playoff if Season Resumes


NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement Tuesday the league would be moving ahead with a 24-team playoff format if it's able to resume play this season — expanded from the traditional 16-team playoff format.

Under the new format, the top four teams in each conference would play for seeding while the other 16 face off in a best-of-five series.

If play resumes, the playoff schedule would be played out in two hub cities — Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver are reported to be in the running.
In going ahead with the top 12 teams in each conference, the decision officially ends the seasons for the league's bottom seven teams — Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa and San Jose.

The league expects players can begin returning to their home rinks early next month, but training camps won't open until July 1 at the earliest.

The league has been shut down since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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