The executive committee vote by each NHL team is expected to result in an approval of the NHL plans to go straight to the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 16-team play-in round by the players association, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
A lot of players have previously voiced disapproval of the tournament because of the number of teams, the safety of the players and their families, and other reasons. But many have acknowledged over the past few days that this option may be the only one if they want a 2020 Stanley Cup Champion crowned. The players association has been working with the league to accommodate their concerns.
While last night’s NHLPA executive committee conference call got a little heated at times, and various individual players still have a wide variety of views on the NHL’s RTP format, the exec committee vote by team is expected to result in NHLPA approval of the NHL plan.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 22, 2020
The tournament will likely take place in two cities. Las Vegas, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, St. Paul, and Dallas were the possibilities at last check.
Some teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers have expressed concern that a best-of-three against the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, respectively, would allow for them to be at a disadvantage if players like Carey Price and Patrick Kane went off for two games to end their respective seasons after being off for a few months. The top-eight teams could play games against the other three from their conference to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Hearing the 24-team return-to-play format will be approved by NHLPA, but there’s A LOT more work to be done. To put in perspective, if the rest of planning goes well, I’m told camps won’t start until early-July & could run 3 weeks, which would lead to starting play at end of July
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) May 22, 2020
This could make leeway for an announcement of the format within the next few days as the Players Association is either concluding or nearing an end of the ballot. However, the announcement will not contain a schedule or a timetable for the games to be played.
The NHLPA Executive Board has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format, subject to reaching an overall agreement with the League on resuming the 2019-20 season: https://t.co/SIzQYyooEE pic.twitter.com/9TftmApiGJ
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) May 23, 2020
The play-in round matchups can be found here.
By Harrison Brown