NHLPA Board Approves Plan for 24-Team Playoffs

The National Hockey League Players’ Association executive board voted to approve a 24-team, conference-based playoff format for a potential restart of the 2019-20 NHL season this summer.

Under the plan, the top four seeds in each conference, as determined by their standings points percentage when the regular season was paused on March 12, would receive byes through a round of best-of-five play-in series featuring seeds 5 through 12.

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Those play-in series would determine which teams advance to a traditional 16-team Stanley Cup playoff bracket, which would have seven-game series.

The NHLPA board had what was described by a source as a “long, intense” conference call Thursday night to discuss the format, and a vote was conducted over the next 24 hours.

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