The NHL is getting closer to revealing a 24 team playoff format to resume the season. What does that mean for the Carolina Hurricanes?
I’ve already talked about what a 24-team playoff format means for the Carolina Hurricanes. I’ve run through the different scenarios from the most likely scenario to the most insane and fun ones.
But I wrote all that before we had a two-month hiatus from the sport. Before Coronavirus spread across the world, destroying all in its path. Before the concept of playoffs without fans was the most likely course of action. Before we knew just how much our world would be turned upside down.
Now it looks like a 24 team playoff is getting to be more and more of a reality:
Now that it is looking more and more likely, we need to really address what a 24-team playoff really means to the sport as a whole. We already know that the Carolina Hurricanes are going to make the playoffs one way or another if the season returns. That is a given. The question becomes will it feel earned this way?
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In the nine-year playoff drought, The Carolina Hurricanes would have made the playoffs six times if it were a 24 team playoff format. This kind of cheapens the playoffs for everyone.
Now I understand that many of these teams are trying to make up lost revenue. And because of revenue sharing (probably some of the terms that the board of governors is discussing for teams like Detroit), the league is trying to make as much money as possible across the league in TV deals to try and help these teams out.
But jumping straight into the playoffs is a dangerous bid. For one, the players will not be in playoff conditioning right off the bat and the fans will expect them to be, present company excluded.
Another thing to consider is if the players are even willing to duke it out and go for a deep playoff run. Some might consider a quick exit and return home to the family might just be best. Is that fair to the fanbase? To the players for making them chose? To the cities hosting? To the TV ratings falling off the cliff as people tune out of watching unconditioned hockey players try to lose?
I know I went on a slippery slope there. There is no reason to believe that this will actually happen, but we have no idea what can or can’t happen. There are way too many variables for any of us to consider. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Issues can be dealt with as they appear, but in the end, is the juice worth the squeeze?
I am more interested in the decision announcement for the draft. That, in my opinion, carries more weight for the Carolina Hurricanes who own either their draft pick or Toronto’s, whichever is better. The other belongs to the Rangers. Hard to set a draft for the teams making the playoffs when the playoffs haven’t been played. As it stands Canes will pick 19th.
Question For CC Readers: What do you think of a 24 team playoff format?