NHL, players discussing resuming season with 24-team playoff

NHL, players discussing resuming season with 24-team playoff

The NHLPA's executive board reportedly held a conference call to discuss the league's 24-team playoff format Thursday night, after which it initiated a vote.

The NHL and the NHL Player Association reached an agreement Friday night to move forward on a plan to resume the season, starting with a 24-team playoff.

Let's be frank - it was a given that concessions were going to have to be made when the National Hockey League and NHLPA finally sat down to hammer out the details for the return of the 2019-20 season. Despite the passion, which made the call heated at times according to McKenzie, the vote was almost unanimous to move ahead with the format, resulting in a 29-2 vote.

"It has become increasingly apparent, that any possibility will not include any further games being played this season in front of fans at Bell MTS Place", the Winnipeg Jets said in an e-mail.

There is no timetable attached to a contemplated 2019-20 restart, though the consensus is that training camps likely wouldn't open until late June or early July. Those teams would play in a three-game tournament to stay sharp, SportsNet reported. The top four Western Conference teams would be the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars.

An unprecedented format, adapted after regular season play was suspended amid the coronavirus, will grant byes to the top two teams in each of the two divisions in each conference.

As for the other issues, these are things that the two sides will continue to discuss as they have already for the past few weeks.

The players have agreed to the format, despite the fact that other critical issues still have to be negotiated, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun, who reiterated a point he made earlier Friday that the National Hockey League will now have to conduct its own "process", with an announcement expected to come within the next few days.

Still, this is an important first step to be taken.

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