Bruins

NHL rumors: League, NHLPA 'making progress' on 24-team format

NHL rumors: League, NHLPA 'making progress' on 24-team format

The 2019-20 NHL season remains on pause, but the league has talked about different scenarios that could unfold if a return to play happens.

One potential scenario, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, involves a 24-team format. 

TSN's Darren Dreger also reported that, under a 24-team scenario, there would two hub cities with each one hosting 12 teams. TSN's Bob McKenzie provided more context to Dreger's report on Monday morning.

Two hub cities is a good number for a few reasons, one being that it would limit travel between all of the teams. 

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Another aspect for the league to figure out if it resumes the season is whether to go straight to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the league doesn't want to jump right into the postseason, two options are playing more regular season games -- most teams have played around 70 of the 82 regular season games originally scheduled -- or having some kind of play-in tournament. According to LeBrun, it seems that the league is thinking of the second scenario.

A play-in tournament would be a lot of fun and give the teams on the playoff bubble a chance to sneak into the playoffs.

The Eastern Conference has five teams in the wild card race. The Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets occupy the two spots with 81 points apiece. Three other teams have at least 78 points. The Western Conference has four teams in the wild card chase within at least three points of each other.

It's still unknown if the 2019-20 season will return. It has been paused since mid-March amid the outbreak of COVID-19. However, it its encouraging that the league is looking at some different scenarios if game action does resume. Perhaps we will find out more after Monday afternoon's Board of Governors meeting.

NHL round robin, qualifying series schedule 2020: Dates, scores for every game

NHL round robin, qualifying series schedule 2020: Dates, scores for every game

The NHL is officially returning to play.

The league and NHLPA ratified the Return to Play Plan and a new CBA deal Friday, paving the way for the 2019-20 season to finish. The regular season is over, but the league is not yet jumping into the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

The top four teams in each conference will determine their seeding for the first round by playing a round robin format. The teams ranked No. 5 through No. 12 in each conference will square off in a qualifying round that will use a Best-of-5 series format. The four winners of the qualifying series in each conference will be matched up against the top four teams for the first round based on seeding.

These games will take place in two host cities. The Eastern Conference games will be played at Scotiabank Place in Toronto, and the Western Conference matchups will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Here's the schedule for every round robin game and qualifying round series. Check back to this article after each game for scores and updated schedules.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND ROBIN
Sunday, Aug. 2: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins
Monday, Aug. 3:  Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Lightning vs. Bruins
Thursday, Aug. 6: Capitals vs. Flyers
Saturday, Aug. 8: Bruins vs. Capitals
Sunday, Aug. 9: Flyers vs. Lightning

QUALIFYING ROUND
(No. 5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (No. 12) Montreal Canadiens
Saturday, Aug. 1: Canadiens vs. Penguins
Monday, Aug. 3: Canadiens vs. Penguins
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Penguins vs. Canadiens
Friday, Aug. 7: Penguins vs. Canadiens*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Canadiens vs. Penguins*

(No. 6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (No. 11) New York Rangers
Saturday, Aug. 1: Rangers vs. Hurricanes
Monday, Aug. 3: Rangers vs. Hurricanes
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Hurricanes vs. Rangers
Thursday, Aug. 6: Hurricanes vs. Rangers*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Rangers vs. Hurricanes*

(No. 7) New York Islanders vs. (No. 10) Florida Panthers
Saturday, Aug. 1: Panthers vs. Islanders
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Panthers vs. Islanders
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Islanders vs. Panthers
Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders vs. Panthers*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Panthers vs. Islanders*

(No. 8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (No. 9) Columbus Blue Jackets
Sunday, Aug. 2: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs
Thursday, Aug. 6: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets
Friday, Aug. 7: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs*
*If necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND ROBIN
Sunday, Aug. 2: St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche
Monday, Aug. 3: Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche vs. Stars
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights vs. Blues
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues

QUALIFYING ROUND
(No. 5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (No. 12) Chicago Blackhawks
Saturday, Aug. 1: Blackhawks vs. Oilers
Monday, Aug. 3: Blackhawks vs. Oilers
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Oilers vs. Blackhawks
Friday, Aug. 7: Oilers vs. Blackhawks*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Blackhawks vs. Oilers*

(No. 6) Nashville Predators vs. (No. 11) Arizona Coyotes
Sunday, Aug. 2: Coyotes vs. Predators
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Coyotes vs. Predators
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Predators vs. Coyotes
Friday, Aug. 7: Predators vs. Coyotes*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Coyotes vs. Predators*

(No. 7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (No. 10) Minnesota Wild
Sunday, Aug. 2: Wild vs. Canucks
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Wild vs. Canucks
Thursday, Aug. 6: Canucks vs. Wild
Friday, Aug. 7: Canucks vs. Wild*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Wild vs. Canucks*

(No. 8) Calgary Flames vs. (No. 9) Winnipeg Jets
Saturday, Aug. 1: Jets vs. Flames
Monday, Aug. 3: Jets vs. Flames
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Flames vs. Jets
Thursday, Aug. 6: Flames vs. Jets*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Jets vs. Flames*
*If necessary

NHL Round Robin Schedule: Dates for Boston Bruins' three games revealed

NHL Round Robin Schedule: Dates for Boston Bruins' three games revealed

Hockey is back, and soon the Boston Bruins will resume their quest to win the Stanley Cup.

The NHL and NHLPA have officially ratified the Return to Play Plan and a new CBA deal, the two sides announced Friday. 

The league also released the schedule for the round robin and the qualifying round.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

The top four teams in each conference will play a round-robin format to determine their seeds for the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The No. 5 through No. 12 teams are taking part in a qualifying round that will use a Best-of-5 series format. The winners of the qualifying series will be matched up (based on seeding) with the top four teams in their respective conferences for the first round of the playoffs.

The Bruins finished the regular season as the Presidents' Trophy winners with the league's best record. They will enter the Eastern Conference's round robin along with the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. 

Here is the Bruins' round robin schedule. All of their games will be played in the host city of Toronto, and the start times have not yet been announced. 

--Sunday, Aug. 2: vs. Philadelphia Flyers
--Wednesday, Aug. 5: vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
--Saturday, Aug. 8: vs. Washington Capitals

The Bruins will begin their formal training camp Monday at Warrior Ice Arena.

Here are the other key dates for the league's return:

The Bruins have been on a mission all season to avenge last year's heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and finish the job in 2020. Their opportunity to accomplish that goal begins in just a few weeks.