NHLPA board voting on returning playoff format with 24 teams: sources

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The NHL Players’ Association’s executive board is voting on a 24-team playoff proposal as the return to play format, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the vote was still ongoing. Results of the vote could be in as soon as Friday night.

Sportsnet and TSN have reported the same details on the voting process, also citing anonymous inside sources.

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Even if the executive board votes to approve the format, it doesn’t yet seal the deal for the NHL season resuming. The league and players union still need to negotiate other details, including health and safety protocols.

But the format is a substantial piece of the return to play puzzle.

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Under the plan proposed by the joint NHL/NHLPA Return To Play Committee, the top four teams in each of the Eastern and Western Conferences would play each other for seeding while the remaining 16 teams face off in a best-of-five series play-in round to set the final 16 to compete for the Stanley Cup.

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