The NHLPA and Commissioner Gary Bettman have came to an agreement on a 24-Team playoff. The tournament will be played in one of the ten cities that was suggested. Some of these cities include, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas and a few others. Although there is no set date for return, many believe it will start in middle-to late July.
The league stated that there will be no full team training camp earlier than July 1st.
The teams will be limited to 50 personnel in their hub city. They have a COVID-19 testing system that they have in place, we do not have many details on this system now.
Phase 2 will include a limited amount of people returning to the ice in their teams facility.
As for the playoff format, it includes 12 teams from each conference. The 4 top teams in each conference will play a mini round-robin tournament for seeding from 1-4. For the other 8 teams they will face off in a qualifying round, here are the matchups
5. Penguins vs 12. Canadiens 5. Oilers vs 12. Blackhawks
6. Hurricanes vs 11. Rangers 6. Predators vs 11. Coyotes
7. Islanders vs 10. Panthers 7. Canucks vs 10. Wild
8. Maple Leafs vs 9. Blue Jackets 8. Flames vs 9. Jets
Some very intriguing matchups in round 1, with some possible upsets due to teams lack of play in the past few months.
The big question in all of this will be, what happens when a player test positive? Does the team stop playing, or will that player be in self-isolation with numerous test for each player?
The Draft Lottery will be taking place on June 26th with the 7 eliminated teams, and 8 teams that lose in the qualifying round.
Although there are many questions throughout these announcements, there should be much optimism and excited as this 24 Team Playoff is something brand new and should be incredibly exciting to watch.