NHL delivers official decision on new playoff format

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Published 1 year ago
NHL delivers official decision on new playoff format
NHL.com

One of the best players in the game Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins might have expressed the desire to return to the NHL’s old playoff format, it did not appear to impact commissionner Gary Bettman’s decision on Wednesday.

From 1993 to 2013, the NHL had three divisions in each conference, with the three division winners grabbing the top three seeds. After that, it was just based on overall points, with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 8 seed, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No, 5. The teams would also re-seed after the first round. Several players and general managers have expressed the desire to use that format once again, but Bettman said no at the GMs meeting.

“This is working well.”

The NHL’s current format has been under scrutiny over the past few years, particularly because it often causes top teams to face off in the first round, but Bettman does not see any issue with it.

Back in May 2022, the commissioner had already stated that the league had no interest in expanding the playoff format to include more teams or games, but it is now official that no changes will come at all.

If the postseason was to kick off today, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, who are second and third respectively in the Atlantic division, would face off in the first round with the Boston Bruins taking on the last-Wild card spot, now in the possession of the New York Islanders.

While the standings will change for the last stretch of the season, the playoff format will remain the same…

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