NHL approves 24-team playoff format to be played in 2 hub cities


  • The NHL has officially approved the 24-team return-to-play format, with each conference playing their games in a hub city, commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday.
  • While there is no official start date for the return, Bettman said the league will go straight to playoffs when the teams take the ice again.
  • There are 10 cities under considerations for hub cities. Gary Bettman says 2 cities will be selected.
  • List of contenders: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Saint Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver.
  • While many believe Vegas is a near lock to be one of NHL’s hub cities, it is possible that the city hosting the Eastern Conference clubs may be geographically located in the West.
  • Only 3 of the possible 10 hub cities are in the East (Columbus, Pittsburgh, Toronto).
  • Bettman confirms: “obviously, we anticipate playing over the summer and into the early-fall.”

“At this time, we are not fixing dates because the scheduling of our return to play will be determined both by developing circumstances and the needs of our players.”

  • The location of the Conference Finals and SCF is to be determined, but are expected to be in one of the two hub cities.
  • Daly notes that the NHL “won’t be in position to use” a Canadian city (EDM, TOR or VAN) as a hub city if Canada’s 14-day quarantine requirement is still in place by then, for those entering the country.
  • On NHL Draft Lottery… Bettman admits “it’s a bit complicated”

  • The 7 teams not in the 24-team format and 8 teams that lose out of the play-in series will be part of the draft lottery on June 26.
  • There will be placeholders for the 8 teams.
  • If any of those picks are won by a team in the play-in, there will be a second phase to determine that team after the play-ins are completed.
Sources & Credits: NHL / Sportsnet / David Pagnotta, Frank Seravalli, Twiter
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