Normally early May meant we were inching closer to the end the season. By this point the playoffs would be heading into the conference finals. We would have witnessed some fantastic series and more than likely a few great game sevens. Unfortunately, life has been far from normal but some good news could be coming.

It seems more than likely within the next few months sports might be returning and that includes hockey. An idea for a 24-team playoff format seems to be gaining a lot of approval around the NHL. This format could help solve some of the major issues that the league has been facing on a potential return.

Pros 

A 24-team playoff format can benefit the league quite a bit. One reason being that it will allow for less of a delay for next season. By jumping right into the playoffs it would cut almost a month less of games that would be needed to finish the season. With many teams still needing to play 10 to 12 games to get in all 82 in. This in-turn would allow for a possible October-November return for the 2020-21 season, instead of a much later start.

This format will also help the NHL in deciding who should make the playoffs. With the traditional 16-team format, there would be a lot more to look at and the chances of making everyone happy would be very unlikely. What the 24-team format would do is give the teams on the bubble of making the playoffs a chance to play. Whether it would be in a wild card type scenario like in baseball or a mini three game series, it will allow everyone an equal chance.

The main pro that this format brings is that it will require less testing to be done . Testing is a big concern in the sports world at the moment. In order to play, the league must make sure that everyone is healthy and reduce any chance of unneeded spreading. The 24-team format will help with this as a third of the league will just stay home.

Cons 

Despite how much I would love to watch hockey again, this format may not be the best route to take. The Stanley Cup has always had a special aura around it. That aura is that it’s the the hardest trophy to win.

If the format is given the green light, it will more than likely not be the traditional best of seven series to start off. In the first round it will more than likely be a shorter series or even a one game playoff. As I mentioned earlier, time is a big issue and the start of next season could affect this outcome.

What I like most about the best of seven format is that you need more than luck to win. Yes, lucky bounces can win games but to win a series it takes more than that. In reality it is much easier to beat someone once or twice than it is to win four times in the span of seven games. It also builds up a mini rivalry in that short period of time that makes watching full seven game series a lot of fun.

Wild card games are great in baseball and one-game playoff games work amazing in football and in many major soccer tournaments. For hockey however, I don’t think it fits. In reality no matter how the NHL decides to comeback, whoever does come out on top will have an asterisks beside their name.

Stay safe out there and let’s hope we don’t have to sit through a one game playoff involving the Toronto Maple Leafs.