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The Latest On The NHL Getting Back On The Ice

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

The one thing that stands out about the NHL return-to-play format currently being discussed is it doesn’t include a meaningless game.

That’s because the top-four teams in each conference will still be jockeying for seeding even while receiving a “bye” directly into the playoffs. The proposed format would see Boston, Tampa, Washington and Philadelphia play each other in the East while St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas do so in the West, with the outcomes helping determine how those teams are seeded No. 1 through No. 4 to start the first round.

It also ensures those NHL heavyweights are given something to play for while the other 16 teams contest best-of five play-in series to determine their playoff opponents.

Now, before we go any further, it’s important to stress that this format hasn’t yet been finalized or approved. The NHLPA’s Executive Board will discuss the proposed framework during a call on Thursday night and ultimately has to sign off on any plan put into action. And of course nothing happens without the league’s blessing, too.

However, both sides are represented on the Return To Play Committee that has been hammering away at what the NHL should look like if it’s able to finish the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They’ve ended up on a 24-team, two-conference format that could produce great theatre while still requiring the eventual Stanley Cup champion to win at least 16 playoff games.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Paul's avatar

from WEEI,

...appearing on Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Thursday afternoon, NBC analyst Pierre McGuire pumped the brakes and said it’s still a matter of “if” the NHL returns this season and not just “when.”

“If we come back and play,” McGuire said. “I know everybody’s thinking we’re definitely coming back to play, but there are issues. There are major issues. This thing is so fluid right now. I’ll use the Canadian border as an example. Everyone says, ‘Well they’ll make a little leeway for the players to cross the border and get in for the six or seven Canadian teams that would be in.’ Well here’s the problem: Once they cross the border, once the players get in, they’re going to have to self-quarantine for 14 days. That’s another 14 days off the calendar. That’s the reality of it. So this is far from being a done deal I believe.”

McGuire also pointed out that while coaches and players on a top team like the Bruins definitely want a chance to play this postseason, there may not be nearly as much urgency around some other teams.

“I think there’s a lot of players that are kind of in summer mode right now, because this is a long time to be away from the rink,” he said. “But you’ve also got a good percentage of players that actually really do want to play, because they want to finish off a season that they’ve had some really good results. Whether that’s St. Louis, who wants to defends, or Boston, who has shown unbelievable tenacity this season. Maybe Tampa, who got humiliated last year in the first round of the playoffs by Columbus. Maybe Washington, who thinks that they’re starting to peak at the right time. So there are a lot of teams that I think would like to keep playing, but I think most players are probably in summer mode right now.”


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/21/20 at 04:50 PM ET


Well here’s the problem: Once they cross the border, once the players get in, they’re going to have to self-quarantine for 14 days. That’s another 14 days off the calendar.

That’s not a “problem”, Pierre. That’s just reality. WHENEVER sports come back, whether it’s this year or next, that is likely to be the case.

And more than that, everyone knows it. It’s common sense, Pierre. Not a single sports fan was surprised by your “revelation”.

Furthermore, do you think that anyone thinks the NHL is going to announce a return date and then have the players arrive in their “hub” the day before games start? Get your head out of your derriere, Pierre.

Having said that, it’s been interesting to read all these articles and to find out just how stupid the media think regular fans are.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 05/21/20 at 05:23 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by BaromirBragr on 05/21/20 at 05:23 PM ET


Posted by d ca on 05/21/20 at 11:45 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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