NHL, players union expected to approve 24-team playoff format after heated vote; Philadelphia Flyers get opening round bye: report

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PITTSBURGH — The NHL is expected to resume play with 24 teams contesting the Stanley Cup playoffs, according to The New York Times.

The Times said TSN’s Bob McKenzie first reported the news, and that a timetable for restart of play is “unlikely to be part of the eventual formal announcement.”

Seeding will be based off of winning percentage. There are 31 teams in the NHL.

The NHL Players’ Association vote, finalized on a team-by-team basis, was reportedly very close with some heated conversations occurring via conference call.

An unprecedented format, adapted after regular season play was suspended amid the coronavirus, will grant byes to the top two teams in each of the two divisions in each conference. They’ll play warmup games within their division while the other 16 teams play five-game series to get the playoffs down to their usual 16 teams.

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