Report: NHL, NHLPA making progress on plan for 24-team playoff format

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WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 12: A goal sits on the empty ice prior to the Detroit Red Wings playing against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on March 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Yesterday, the NBA suspended their season until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The NHL said per a release, that the uncertainty regarding next steps regarding the coronavirus, Clubs were advised not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings today. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- Hockey continues to take steps to try and return soon. Over the weekend the NHL and NHLPA discussed a 24-team playoff format when and if play resumes. The plan could involve some games before a potential postseason begins, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.

Here’s more from LeBrun regarding the proposed 24-team playoff format, with 12 teams from each conference:

I’m told the proposed 24-team format doesn’t go straight to the playoffs but involves games in some form before-hand. That would be something the players would have pushed for. Again, let me stress that both sides on the committee as of Sunday morning still had work to do on the format so it may yet change again.

But there’s a clear sense that both sides are closer on what a season resumption may look like.

Once the Return to Play committee finally agrees to a format (assuming it eventually does), the NHLPA’s executive board (31 player reps) would need to vote on it for approval.

The NHL Board of Governors call will happen on Monday and an announcement regarding a decision on the NHL Draft. LeBrun reports that it could happen this week which was initially scheduled to be held on June 26-27,

The league has reportedly been targeting a late June/early July date to return, however NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said they would need at least three weeks of training camp before that restart.

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