NHLPA board approves 24-team playoff format, negotiations ongoing

NHLPA board approves 24-team playoff format, negotiations ongoing
(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

The National Hockey League Players’ Association has voted to continue negotiations on the league’s proposal for a 24-team playoff in a return-to-play scenario.

The NHLPA announced the news on Twitter Friday night after players from each team voted on the proposal. The board approved the format, but the final details are still being negotiated.

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Tonight, the board released a statement saying they want to continue negotiations with the league regarding the 24-team playoff format.

“Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching an agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play,” the NHLPA said.

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Penguins voted yes to the proposal though player rep Kris Letang.

Letang reportedly told Friedman that players shared strong opinions about the plan on Thursday’s conference call. Letang noted that whatever the format is, some agree and some don’t.

Discussions between the league and the NHLPA are expected to continue, but there is no timetable for when a decision is expected.

According to NBC Sports, If the Board of Governors green lights it, the next steps would include figuring out proper safety protocols for all involved and how the hub city plan would work, among numerous other details.

Based on points percentage at the time of the March 12 NHL pause, the top four teams in each conference (Boston, Tampa, Washington, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas, Dallas) will receive a first-round bye. Round 1 will feature eight play-in matchups in a best-of-five series.

In that format, the No. 5 seed Penguins would face the No. 12 seed Montreal Canadiens.

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