After almost two and a half months without sports on our TV, the NHL has given reason for hope. The hockey league announced that their season will head straight to playoffs and will hopefully resume shortly.
“The 2019 to 2020 regular season is now complete”, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said yesterday as he announced the league’s return to play plan. After yesterday’s announcement, the NHL has become the first of the four major sports leagues to disclose their plan to return to action.
“The 2019 to 2020 regular season is now complete”Gary Bettman
The NHL intends to head straight into a 24 team playoffs, opposed to the normal 16, and have two “hub” cities. Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Vancouver are all currently under consideration to be a hub city. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that the Canadian government’s current policy of needing anyone entering the country to quarantine for fourteen days would make the Canadian cities not possible as hub cities though.
Training camps are set to start in July. It is rumored that players have asked for a three-week training camp.
NHL Playoff Picture
Under the 24 team plan, Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington, and Philadelphia will battle for the No. 1 spot in the East. Colorado, Vegas, Dallas, and St. Louis will clash for the top spot in the West.
As for the play in round, No. 5 Pittsburgh will take on No. 12 Montreal, No. 6 Carolina will play No. 11 NY Rangers, No. 7 NY Islanders will face No. 10 Florida, and No. 8 Toronto play No. 9 Columbus.
In the Western Conference, No. 5 Edmonton is set to play No. 12 Chicago, No. 6 Nashville will play No. 11 Arizona, No. 7 Vancouver will clash against No. 10 Minnesota, and No. 8 Calgary will play No. 9 Winnipeg.
The NHL is still determining whether the first two rounds will be best-of-five or best-of-seven series, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.