NHL Introduces More Chaos Into the 24 Team Format

NHL Stanley Cup Final(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NHL Stanley Cup Final(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The NHL added one more wrinkle to the 24-team playoff format adding chaos.

If you thought that the NHL wouldn’t complicate the 24-team playoff format anymore, you are fooling yourself. The latest wrinkle now features a new seeding format for the top four for each of the top four seeds in each conference.

That means a few things. For one, it throws the entire second round into a blender that won’t be found out until the Play-in Round is complete. That means that these teams aren’t actually getting a bye and that whatever games they are playing absolutely matter to who they can draw in the next round.

It also can feature some insane matchups. For example, if Montreal, who has all of 19 regulation wins in the season and is somehow a playoff team, gets past Pittsburgh it can face against anyone from the Bruins to the Flyers in the “first round”.

Here is the kicker, as the twelfth seed, would teams lose their seeding games to try and fall to fourth and try and draw Montreal in the “first round”? The same goes for the Carolina Hurricanes who thought they were going to get the Washington Capitals after getting past the New York Rangers. Absolute chaos.

Now all this is not set in stone yet. In fact, the NHLPA is expected to be giving its executive board approval (or disapproval) tonight. So we will see what they will or will not agree to.

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This sort of mix will force the NHL to have only two “hubs” for play since the “first round” (who are we kidding, its the second round) can feature any mix of teams playing each other. Right now they are looking at Vegas and a Canadian city. That might put Raleigh completely out of the race. Vegas makes sense, considering all the accommodations right around the arena.

Edmonton has been building itself a strong case to host creating as many accommodations and entertainment specifically for hockey players from golf courses to movie screens. With these players being away from home and many away from their family for the course of their playoff run, this is what needs to be the priority for these cities.

If only we thought of that soon enough.

We will find out later today what the decision will be and how and when the league plans on returning to play. For now, all we can do is wait and hope they make the right decision for the players and the fans.

Question For CC Readers: If the Canes do get past the Rangers, who would you rather see them face in the “first round”?

Next. Canes Draw Rangers in 24 Team Format. dark