Last week , NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league's 24-team model for the completion of the 2019-20 season that was suspended on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. That model includes a round-robin format to determine playoff seeding and a play-in series for the remaining postseason berths.
On Thursday, ESPN's Emily Kaplan provided additional information on how the playoffs will look once the full tournament begins.
Per Kaplan, the NHL and NHL Players' Association agreed the qualifying round for the available playoff spots will be determined by a best-of-five format. The remainder of the postseason will feature seven-game series.
Teams will be reseeded after each playoff round leading up to the Stanley Cup Final.
The NHL plans to place two sets of clubs at different bubble sites. While Bettman confirmed the league is considering 10 cities, he hasn't yet announced where games will occur:
10 cities are being considered for the two hub city spots that will host the Stanley Cup Playoffs. pic.twitter.com/bMLxSCvpRW— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) May 26, 2020
Kaplan added the league and the union haven't signed-off on safety protocols, such as if family members will be allowed to travel to the hub cities with players, coaches, and other team personnel. Both parties must agree to terms for training camps to start.
If the NHL can begin training camp sessions in early or mid-July, it's possible the league and the NBA could both restart their campaigns on or around July 31.
Earlier in the day, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced one of their players tested positive and recovered from COVID-19.