Duchene thinks integrity of game shouldn’t be compromised for postseason

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  • While the NHL is advocating to finish the entirety of the regular season with league revenue and television contract obligations on the line, the players are approaching a possible restart from a different lens.
  • Predators center Matt Duchene is one of those players, and he voiced his strong opinions on the matter during a radio interview on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central on Tuesday.

“First of all, it needs to be safe for the players, for the coaches, for the training staff … everybody,” Duchene said. “We can’t have a risk of anybody getting this thing and I think that’s going to be our ultimate biggest hurdle.

“You don’t want to have a ‘COVID Cup,’ and I’m worried that if we come back and try and force this thing and it’s a little gimmicky and it’s not quite right, whoever wins the Cup is going to have people try and take it away from them their whole lives. And they don’t deserve that … Our game is one of the games that has the most integrity in the world and I know our guys are going to want this to mean something if we do come back.”

“I think the integrity of our game has to be maintained,” Duchene continued. “I think with what the Stanley Cup means, what the guys’ names on the Cup went through — 82 games and then 20-plus games to win the Stanley Cup — that’s sacrifice that going into another team’s barn and stealing a game in front of their fans in a hostile environment, all those things, that has to be maintained as best as possible.”

“I doubt we’re going to be able to (keep a traditional playoff format) 100 percent if we are able to come back, but I would like to see as traditional a format as possible,” Duchene added. “Obviously, there’s no fair way to say who should be in and who should be out because of not playing the full 82, but somebody is, for lack of a better word, going to get screwed.

“I say, let’s keep it as traditional as possible. I’d love to see us jump to a 16-team playoff, and maybe you’re going to be playing more frequently because guys are going to be more fresh.”

  • Nothing is imminent as to when or how the NHL will continue, but NHL executives remain adamant that the playoff format is not as high on the league’s priority list as to where and when the games will be played.
Sources & Credits: Nashville Post / Sportsnet
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