By Thomas Gibbons
Like the MLB, there have been multiple different reports of how the NHL season could look when it resumes.
Today, we saw a proposed format that would include jumping right into the playoffs. From Mark Spector at Sportsnet:
Assuming no regular season games get played, the most popular playoff scenario is the following: The Top 6 teams from each Division meet in one city. They would open with best-of-three series between the No. 1 and 2 seeds (to decide a Division winner), while No. 3 meets 6 and 4 meets 5 for the right to keep playing.
It’s not what you would call the fairest format considering teams like the Buffalo Sabers and the Anaheim Ducks are not even in the running for the Wild Care race. So it is easy to see why it is unpopular but it’s one of multiple formats we have seen.
On Wednesday, the NHL and NHLPA released an update on the paused season.
Despite numerous reports and speculation over the last several days, the NHL and the NHLPA have not made any decisions or set a timeline for possible return to play scenarios.
Despite this report, Greg Wyshynski of ESPN reported Wednesday that teams could open their facilities to players in late May. That would be the first step in returning to play.
Full quote from ESPN article on players being able to return to facilities:
“We are not targeting a specific date at this point in time,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN via email on Wednesday. “We are hoping for some point in the latter half of May. Remains to be seen.”
Sports leagues are working toward getting play underway as soon as possible. The MLB is reportedly working on a plan that would include teams playing in their own stadiums. It would be 3 10-team divisions based on geographical location to limit travel.