NHL Announces Additional Details for 2020 Playoff Format

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"Phase 2 is not a substitute for training camp". All other rounds (First Round, Second Round, Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Final) will be best-of-seven series. The player, who is not named in the release, is not in Pittsburgh and was not in Pittsburgh when he tested positive.

The league said that it continues to negotiate with the players' union to try and come up with an agreement about how to potentially resume play.

The final details of the format answered one question: Players preferred re-seeding throughout a 24-team playoff as a means of fairness, though the league likes the brackets that have been in place since 2014. "Let me assure you that the reason we are doing this is because our fans have told us in overwhelming numbers that they want to complete the season if at all possible".

Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reports that the top four seeds in each conference will be determined by the results of the three-game round robin.

Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia would compete for the No. 1 slot in the East under the plan, while defending Cup champions St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas would do the same out West.


"Those games are going to be competitive, " Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said.

The remaining franchises would take part in eight best-of-five qualifying round series, leaving the National Hockey League with its traditional 16-team playoff.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares, who was a member of the NHL/NHLPA Return to Play Committee, said last week that players were intent on making sure there's no asterisk if a team eventually lifts the Stanley Cup at the end of the season.

"Everybody is used to a best-of-seven, " Pittsburgh player representative Kris Letang said.

Having each series be best-of-seven will add several days to the schedule to award the Stanley Cup as late as October.

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