Since the NHL suspended the 2019-20 season weeks ago, and subsequently instituted a self-quarantine period for players and staff, it has been looking at ways to resume play and get the playoffs underway.
However, as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop and player isolation getting extended to April 15 on Tuesday, it seems like the league might be forced to cluster teams and potentially play games in less-affected areas without fans in the stands.
This is what Pierre LeBrun had to say about this potential scenario on the latest edition of Insider Trading on TSN:
“Yeah, that’s been a discussion in the National Hockey League has also had behind the scenes. Certainly, I should stress, not the preferred route for the NHL to point out the obvious but it’s something they have discussed. What I’m told is, for a 16-team playoff, that they’re looking at four separate centralized cities that they would start the playoffs in. Now, because of all the different playoff formats that they’re talking about, it could be more than four cities if it’s a 20-team playoff or a 24-team playoff. All those formats that we’ve speculated but yeah, it’s on the card it’s just that it’s not what they hope to do if all goes their way.”
The league is considering all scenarios at the moment and it seems like this one isn’t off the table yet.