Coronavirus is still a serious effort on North America, so besides the UFC and NASCAR racing professional sports have not yet returned, but some leagues make plans. The NHL filed its return plan, outlining its main parameters.
Perhaps one of the key is a point on the end of the regular season. NHL officially finished the regular season, where the teams had to spend at 11-13 matches. The decision is logical. Many clubs just don’t see the point in going back on the ice and put players at risk if the team lost chances for the playoffs. They are going to play more than half of the championship and the results were quite revealing to go to the playoffs. However, choose the traditional 16 teams for post regular season is much harder, so the League expanded the playoffs to 24 clubs.
12 best teams of the East and West receive the right to compete for the Stanley Cup, and the rest can already relax.
Given the number of participants in the playoffs, top 4 teams of each conference automatically qualified for the first round, and the rest will have to play the qualification stage. In the East in the first round out of Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia. To the West is St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas. They still have to play each other to determine seeding for the start of the round.
The other participants have to play a qualifying round of three games (instead of the traditional 4). Already known pairs of this round of the playoffs.
The top 4 teams in the East and a pair of playoff qualification round.
The top 4 teams in the West and a pair of playoff qualification round.
Question the venue of the matches. The situation with the virus will not allow teams to move around the US and Canada, so the system house will have to forget. The NHL wants to choose one city for Eastern conference teams and one for teams in the West, where all conference participants will carry out their battles. This so-called city hubs. The League has called a long list of cities, and later among them would be chosen.
As for the Stanley Cup final, he will definitely be up to four victories, and also, perhaps, already held in the arenas of the finalists, if you will, the situation with coronavirus. However, the NHL doubts that this will be possible.
Date. Specific dates for the restart of the season there, and there are chances that it generally does not take place, if the situation with the disease will get worse. Yet the NHL triggered the second phase of release from quarantine is training small groups of no more than 6 players without the coaching staff. Phase 3 is a full training camp, and phase 4 is the start of the season.
Apparently, before the end of July, the playoffs will not start. Probably, in the best case, the Stanley Cup will be awarded somewhere in September and the League have not ruled out that the 2020/21 season will begin in December or even January.