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NHLPA authorizes further negotiations for 24-team playoffs

May 23, 2020, 6:38 AM ET [2 Comments]
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The NHL and NHLPA took a big step towards a return to the ice on Friday night, as the NHLPA voted to further negotiate a 24-team playoff format for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup," the NHLPA said in a statement released Friday night. "Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play.​"

As noted by the NHLPA's statement, some major details surrounding a potential return still need to be hammered out. Some of the issues still facing the league include a definitive timeline, hub city locations and plans for housing families, and the financials of a return.

But Friday's affirmative vote is the first of what will be many steps that will need to be taken before the league, which paused its 2019-20 season on Mar. 12, is back on the ice.

The NHL is still looking to move out of Phase 1, which has seen players self-quarantine at home (local or back home), of its return-to-play plan.
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