In advance of Monday’s scheduled National Hockey League board of governors meeting, there’s a lot of media chatter about a potential agreement on a playoff format. On Sunday, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted an update on talks about a 24-team playoff format.
Sources indicate the Return To Play Committee has talked throughout the weekend, NHL-NHLPA making progress on a 24-team format. Sources also stressing there's still work to be done, but clearly the weekend has produced some traction. More talks expected over next day or two.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 17, 2020
The 24-team playoffs would have six teams, grouped by division, clustered around four home cities. The teams in each cluster would be basically grouped by division, with potential exceptions aimed at balancing the overall conference seeding.
In theory, the top two teams in each division would get a bye. Then there would be best-of-three play-in series featuring teams 3 and 6 and 4 and 5, with the winners advancing to face the teams with the byes (presumably in best-of-seven series).
From there, things would theoretically progress as normal.
Reports are also circulating that there may be news this week on the upcoming NHL Draft as well as the next phase of the NHL’s return to play protocols.