According to ESPN, the National Hockey League Players’ Association executive board voted to approve a 24-team, conference-based playoff format for a potential restart of the 2019-20 NHL season this summer.
Unfortunately for us Sharks fans, this 24-team plan does not include our Sharks.
The vote included the 24 teams that would advance to the playoffs and the seven non-playoff teams whose seasons would be over by adopting the plan. One of those seven teams being the San Jose Sharks.
There are still a lot of unknowns and issues on which the players and NHL have to find compromise (i.e. where the games will be played, how players will be tested for COVID-19).
One thing we do know is, fans will not be allowed to attend these games.
The seeding and play-in series would be as follows under the proposed plan:
Top seeds: Boston Bruins (1), Tampa Bay Lightning (2), Washington Capitals (3), Philadelphia Flyers (4)
Play-in series: Pittsburgh Penguins (5) vs. Montreal Canadiens (12), Carolina Hurricanes (6) vs. New York Rangers (11), New York Islanders (7) vs. Florida Panthers (10), Toronto Maple Leafs (8) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9)
Top seeds: St. Louis Blues (1), Colorado Avalanche (2), Vegas Golden Knights (3), Dallas Stars (4)
Play-in series: Edmonton Oilers (5) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (12), Nashville Predators (6) vs. Arizona Coyotes (11), Vancouver Canucks (7) vs. Minnesota Wild (10), Calgary Flames (8) vs. Winnipeg Jets (9)