While we are awaiting as the NHLPA is currently voting on the new suggested 24-team playoff format, the process should be done tonight and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has reportedly already set a deadline on when he wants to award the Stanley Cup.
According to Andy Strickland of FOX SPORTS, the league is hoping to hand out the Stanley Cup no more than 60 days from the first game when the season starts up.
We still don’t know if the new suggested playoff format will be approved, but it has been reported that some general managers aren’t pleased with the plan.
As you know now, reports show that the breakdown would be the following: Twenty-four teams would get in, 12 from each conference. The top-4 teams in each conference – according to the standing when the shutdown occurred on March 12 – would get a bye through the play-in round. The next eight would meet in a best-of-five series. Those top four teams would play each other in a three-game round robin. While that round-robin is taking place, the remaining eight teams would square off in best-of-five, play-in series. Series would be best-of-seven after that.
Whenever the format is approved - or gets tweaked - the NHL and NHLPA will need to keep a close eye on their schedule to make sure they can complete the season without affecting the 2020-21 campaign too much.