Posted January 02, 2013

NHL, NHLPA reportedly discussing expanded 20-team postseason

NHL

Though it has not been a negotiation topic, the NHL and NHLPA have each internally discussed the possibility of expanding the postseason to 20 teams, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos. The league’s current format includes 16 teams, eight from each conference.

The two sides are expected to meet on Wednesday — three months and 17 days into the lockout — in New York after the league made a counter-offer to the players’ union on Tuesday night. Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Monday that the league has told the NHLPA that a 48-game season can begin on Jan. 19 if a deal is reached by Jan. 11.

Based on the proposed four-conference realignment, a potential expanded playoff could involve “one-game (maybe best-of-three) playoffs for the fourth- and fifth-place teams in each of the four conferences,” writes ProHockeyTalk’s Jason Brough:

This would have two advantages. First, the additional games would provide additional revenue. Second, more teams in the playoff race theoretically means fewer fans giving up on their teams during the regular season.

CBSSports.com’s Adam Gretz outlined what the 2012 postseason would have looked like had a 20-team format been in place:

Just for some perspective: Four additional teams (two in each conference) in the current conference alignment would have resulted in the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames making the playoffs in the Western Conference last season, as well as the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference.


15 comments
Jim A
Jim A

They could always do what the British FA Cup folks do-draw names out of a hat and set up NCAA-style "brackets".

 

...just a thought...I hope they're not reading this... :)

Anthony17
Anthony17

Yeah, more dilution of the playoffs' importance is a 'great' idea. lol

TwoFists
TwoFists

Next thing you know they'll want to get rid of kickoffs.

geeon1
geeon1

Why play the season? Just have a playoffs. 16 is already too many teams.

AndrewSmith
AndrewSmith

This is Nick Kyprios talking here. He's rarely right.

d3
d3

Haha what? Lets just make every season useless instead of the 10 year cycle. Expand the league and let everyone in. Raise the tickets prices by $20. Fher and Bettman get lifetime contracts. All great ideas for this circus

GeoffreyHolland
GeoffreyHolland

no, no, no. ah, no one cares anyways. Expand the league to 40 teams, have 38 make the playoffs, who cares? the nhl is dead.

flanalan
flanalan

Ah, the NHL playoffs.  Finally relevant after realignment and expansion, now rendered irrelevant again.  Can't wait for those 30 win teams to join the postseason tournament once again!

MattJanosko
MattJanosko

Why? That's all I gotta ask. 16 out of 30 teams already make the playoffs...that's more than enough. This is just another case of "everyone gets a trophy no matter what". If you wanna make the playoffs....well, FINISH IN THE TOP EIGHT IN YOUR CONFERENCE!!!!!! As much as I've been on the players side in this lockout I definitely am inclined to think that this suggestion by the NHLPA is nothing more than a money grab by the players since the teams finishing and playing for the final spot will get bonus money. This is absurd.

benback2cu
benback2cu

Cue Jim Mora, Sr.:  "PLAYOFFS?"  You don't have a Players Association or a season, and you're talking about the PLAYOFFS?" 

DavidRobertson
DavidRobertson

I don't care how many teams play in the playoffs as long as there ARE playoffs. As it stands right now, there will be zero teams in this year's playoffs. 

dayvnewton
dayvnewton

The leafs will do whatever it takes to make the playoffs

DarrenZancan
DarrenZancan

How about a 30 team playoff? Why not skip the regular season and start with the playoffs?

DavidRobertson
DavidRobertson

But, really, 20 teams in the playoffs is a bit silly. Also, if there are 20 teams who make it, and my Jets still don't make it, I would be rather sad and ashamed. lol

 

I already dealt with the Bombers in the CFL being one of two teams that didn't make the playoffs. Really: only two teams miss out. ugh.