Photo: Gregg Forweck/Getty Images
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the teams that advance in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be re-seeded after each round.
The four “bye” teams will play in a three-game round-robin to determine the seedings of the top four teams in each conference. (Bruins, Lightning, Capitals and Flyers).
The number one seed from the top seed’s round robin will then face the lowest seed to advance from the “play-in” round. The second seed will face the second worst seeded team to advance from the “play-in” round, and so on. (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5).
The NHL Playoffs will not be bracketed, but re-seeded after every round. Qualifying will be best-of-five. All other rounds will be best-of-seven.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 4, 2020
Each subsequent round will follow suit, as the highest remaining seed faces the lowest remaining seed, the second highest seed faces the second lowest seed and so on.
The NHLPA wanted the teams to be re-seeded after each round, while the NHL wanted the tournament to be bracketed, as it has been since the league realigned its divisions in 2013-14.
The play-in series will be a best-of-five while the other four rounds after that will be best-of-seven.
The two hub cities for the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be made in three weeks, Friedman said on Wednesday. Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Vancouver are the reported options.
NHL teams could open small group skates sometime this week if they have not already, enacting phase two of the return to play plan.
FROM NHL MEDIA RELEASE
The Qualifying Round will be composed of best-of-five series. All other rounds (First Round, Second Round, Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Final) will be best-of-seven series.
In each succeeding round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the highest remaining seed in each conference will face the lowest remaining seed, the second-highest remaining seed in each conference will face the second-lowest remaining seed, etc.
Round Robin Tiebreaker
Ties in the Round Robin – featuring the top four teams from each conference – will be broken by regular season points percentage. The seeding order for these teams then will remain the same throughout the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* In the Qualifying Round, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2 and 5. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3 and 4.
* In the First Round, Second Round and Conference Finals, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.
* In the Stanley Cup Final, the team with the higher regular season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The team with the lower regular season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.
Today’s announcement follows approval by the League’s Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The agreement is subject to the NHL and the NHLPA reaching an overall agreement on resuming play.
By Harrison Brown