Earlier today, it was reported by many insiders that the NHLPA is set to accept the 24-team Return to Play format, however, it is believed that this was done without the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
A source with first-hand knowledge told Pittsburgh Hockey Now the Penguins, that the Penguins through representative Kris Letang, voted a hard NO on the proposal put before the NHLPA on Friday evening.
As you know now, reports show that the breakdown of the Return to Play committee format 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. The NHLPA is currently voting on the format, and the process should be done tonight.
That means that the Pittsburgh Penguins would face star goalie Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens in this new opening round and Sidney Crosby’s club and management aren’t happy about this.
While the sides have not settled on timelines or official procedures, tonight’s vote was a good sign that hockey could resume shortly. However, the Penguins aren’t not that thrilled about it for the moment.