One major sport is now expected to be returning sometime in July, as the NHL players and league have agreed on a 24-team playoff that would crown a champion late this summer. There will be no fans in attendance, and the location(s) where games will be played are yet to be announced. This is a great sign for other leagues as well, such as the MLB and NBA who are looking to start or finish their seasons as soon as possible.
The proposed playoff setup would see the top 4 seeds in each conference earn a bye, while the rest of the 24 would be seeded and play 5-game “play in” series, as they were all still in contention to potentially make the playoffs. The rest of the playoffs will be their standard, best-of-7 series’. It is reassuring for the players safety that the league feels confident in having full length series and that the playoffs will in fact be played.
There will potentially be an asterisk next to whoever wins the championship, as it is no ordinary season. However, it will certainly be interesting to see how it plays out. Almost every team who had a chance to get in the playoffs at the time of season suspension will now have a chance at the Stanley Cup. Rejoice sports fans, at least one of the major sports will see its season conclude with a champion. Hopefully, the NBA is next.