NHLPA authorizes further negotiations for 24-team playoffs

NHLPA authorizes further negotiations for 24-team playoffs

It remains to be seen whether outstanding matters involving health and safety protocols; quasi-quarantine for perhaps up to 10 weeks within a hub city and separation from family; rules of engagement on the ice, and financial considerations including the players' escrow obligations will be as hard to navigate as this one that proved hard.

The NHL Players' Association has initially agreed to play under the 24-team playoff format that was recently proposed by the league.

According to the report, details of player safety remain unsettled. "We will not set dates, choose sites or begin to play until we know what's appropriate and prudent, and are approved to do so".

Commissioner Gary Bettman this week said the league was looking at eight or nine locations to serve as hub cities for the resumption of the season.

The Post has been told by several parties familiar with the call that a significant faction of players believe the format does not sufficiently reward clubs for their success before the National Hockey League season was put on pause.

Earlier this week, the league and NHLPA issued extensive protocols once players are allowed to return to their facilities.

There was a report that indicated that the league's training camps may not start until July. The top 12 teams in each conference would get into the playoffs. The 2019-20 campaign was halted with 189 games left on the slate, while clubs had played anywhere from 68 to 71 contests. With a considerable amount of TV revenue at stake, Bettman has said he's determined to finish the season and award the Cup even if that means delaying the launch of the 2020-21 season.

The Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers would advance from the Eastern Conference, while the St Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars would qualify from the West.

LeBrun adds that another issue being talked about is whether the first round of the actual playoffs, after the play-in round, would be best-of-five or the regular best-of-seven.

Montreal, the 12th seed, sat with a paltry 71 points from 71 games - including just 19 regulation wins - when the season was paused amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. The play-in series in the West would be: No. 8 Calgary vs.

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