What we learned from the NHL’s announcement to resume play
The 2019-2020 NHL season is returning
On Tuesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed a plan to return play for the 2019-2020 NHL season.
Additionally, Bettman stated that the 2019-2020 regular season is now complete and the league will resume straight into the postseason and playoff play.
Bettman also said one of the main driving forces to return play and not cancel the season altogether was hearing hockey fans and players wanting the season to return.
Swipe through to see the full outline of this plan.
24 clubs - 12 in the Eastern Conference and 12 in the Western Conference, and assigned to one of two ‘Hub Cities.’
Each team will be limited to 50 personnel in Hub City with a small number of support staff permitted in Event Areas.
“We are currently in phase one of our pause during which clubs have been instructed to self-isolate as much as possible and have done so.” — Gary Bettman
PHASE 2 & 3
** Note: Commissioner Bettman gave no specific dates when presenting the plan due to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic forces uncertainty in timelines.
Phases two and three are all about preparing for the return to ice by beginning a brief training period before heading to their assigned Hub City.
Bettman anticipates play to resume over the summer season and into fall.
“At this time, we are not fixing dates because the schedule for our return to play will be determined both by developing circumstances and the needs of our players.” — Gary Bettman
Round Robin for seeding (East): No. 1 Boston, No. 2 Tampa Bay, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Philadelphia
Round Robin for seeding (West): No. 1 St. Louis, No. 2 Colorado, No. 3 Las Vegas, No. 4 Dallas
PHASE 4 CONT. (PLAYOFFS)
Following the Round Robin round, the remaining eight teams will play in a best-of-5 series in the Qualifying Round. Winner advances to the First Round of the playoffs.
Since the regular season is completed, the NHL has a clear playoff picture with team seeding:
EASTERN CONFERENCE: No. 1 Boston, No. 2 Tampa Bay, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Philadelphia, No. 5 Pittsburgh, No. 6 Carolina, No. 7 NY Islanders, No. 8 Toronto, No. 9 Columbus, No. 10 Florida, No. 11 NY Rangers, No. 12 Montreal.
WESTERN CONFERENCE: No. 1 St. Louis, No. 2 Colorado, No. 3 Las Vegas, No. 4 Dallas, No. 5 Edmonton, No. 6 Nashville, No. 7 Vancouver, No. 8 Calgary, No. 9 Winnipeg, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 11 Arizona, No. 12 Chicago.
Those cities that are in consideration for hosting one of the two playoff sites are:
Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Edmonton, AB; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Pittsburgh, PA; Toronto, ON; Vancouver, BC.