The NHL owners and executives has been hard at work trying to figure out the best and safest ways to move forward as a league, and it seems they have found a solution everyone is excited about. The league announced on Twitter its plans for the NHL Playoffs, if the situation allows for it.
NHL Announces Plans to Move Forward
The proposal states that, as of today, the 2019-20 NHL regular season is over. This means teams who are currently in first place in their divisions are declared the winner of that division, and any team who was hot on their tail is out of luck.
It also reveals plans for a 24-team playoff bracket, opposed to the typical 16.
This leaves just seven teams across the entire NHL with no hope of returning to the ice at all this season.
Though, those seven teams will not have a shot at the Stanley Cup, they are going to be the sole participants in a new draft lottery system, which will be implemented by the NHL during the offseason.
How Will NHL Playoffs Work?
The NHL has made it clear that these plans are contingent on if state officials and other national authorities allow them to follow through.
Teams will be under very strict protocol and guidelines for returning to training and eventually to games.
The tournament would start with a best-of-five qualifying round between seeds five through twelve, while the top four seeds play a round robin tournament to determine their seeding.
Once everything is settled, the NHL Playoffs will move on to a traditional first round format.
All games would be played inside of two host cities.
The NHL is currently considering 10 different cities to fill those roles: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver.
Full details on these things, as well as the NHL’s proposed timeline can be seen here:
Where Does This Leave NHL Bettors
I wish I had all the answers as to what sportsbooks are going to do but, in reality, they will probably all handle this differently.
I have already seen some books canceling all props on regular season win totals and division winners. I have not seen anything specifically stating which, if any, props will not be voided.
My advice is to reach out to your bookie and see what their plans are.
It’s beyond frustrating when you have had money tied up since September or October and it all ends up for not, especially if you were in the position to cash.
The silver lining is that there will (hopefully) be an incredible slate of NHL Playoffs games in which you can use that money to place new bets.
Just a little more patience… sports are almost back!
2019-20 NHL Division Winners
Metropolitan – Washington Capitals
Atlantic – Boston Bruins
Central – St. Louis Blues
Pacific – Las Vegas Golden Knights