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NHLPA Votes in Favor of 24-Team Playoff Format

Late Friday, the NHLPA announced that they voted in favor of the 24-team playoff format that was proposed by the league.

While there are still hoops to jump through and hurdles to climb, it appears the NHL is one-step closer to resuming play. Late Friday, the NHLPA announced that they voted in favor of the 24-team playoff format that was proposed by the league. 

As per the NHLPA website:

The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup. Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play.​

The vote was almost completely unanimous with only two of the 31 team reps voting no. There was speculation the Pittsburgh Penguins were one of those teams, (Kris Letang was their player rep) but that mistake was cleared up after he said the team voted yes despite it meaning the Penguins would have to play in one of the play-in rounds.

The format of the proposal has been discussed at great length by many reporters over the last 24-48 hours and it appears the layout of the games would be accurate but Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports the exact format hasn’t been ratified. There could be some changes or alterations if the NHL is given the green light to move forward.

As it stands now, this format would see the top four seeds in each conference get a bye through play-in rounds. From there, 16 teams that don’t get byes would play a best-of-five series to narrow the field down to a traditional 16 clubs.

Once down to 16 teams, a best-of-seven format would begin.

As previously mentioned, there is a lot more work to do, but fans and players are starting to get excited, already talking about match-ups and how their respective teams will do. There’s a feeling like hockey might be right around the corner, even if that isn’t necessarily true.

At least it’s a start.

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