A 24 team playoff?! The NHL is trying to come back to finish their season without playing the rest of the regular season. The NHL playoff proposal would see 24 total teams in the playoffs. We would see 12 teams from the East and 12 from the West.
The top 4 teams in each Conference would get a bye from the play-in round. However, those teams would have to play a round-robin tournament to decide their seeding.
As for the final 8 seeds, they would play a playoff series to make it into the final 8.
With so many close races and 16 games left in the regular season this would allow teams who had a chance to make the postseason a chance to make a run in the playoffs.
Here is the seeding for each Conference along with the first-round matchups for the play-in games.
- 1.Boston Bruins
- 2.Tampa Bay Lightning
- 3. Washington Capitals
- 4. Philadelphia Flyers
5. Pittsburgh Penguins vs 12. Montreal Canadians
6. Carolina Hurricanes vs 11. Florida Panthers
7. Toronto Maple Leafs vs 10. New York Rangers
8. Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Islanders
- 1.St Louis Blues
- 2. Colorado Avalanche
- 3.Las Vegas Golden Knights
- 4. Edmonton Oilers
Play In Games
5. Dallas Stars vs 12. Chicago Blackhawks
6. Winnipeg Jets vs 11. Arizona Coyotes
7. Calgary Flames vs 10. Minnesota Wild
8. Nashville Predators vs 9. Vancouver Canucks
Thoughts On Proposal
With the playoffs being set this way and all the teams being rusty from not playing for over 2 months this evens the playing field. Especially for the teams seeded in the 5 to 12 spots. This also allows the top four seeds to be awarded a bye aka a prize of some sort. While they may have to play in a round-robin tournament amongst each other to finalize their seed spots they will most importantly be breaking the rust off without being eliminated doing so. Personally I wish the NHL would stick to this format every year but here’s to hoping that this does happen and everyone embraces it!