The idea of a 22 or 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs to round out the 2019-20 season has been floated by numerous hockey insiders on social media and radio shows over the last few weeks, as the NHL continues its “no idea is too crazy” approach to continuing play sometime this year.
It’s easy to understand why the league is leaning in this direction: it has now been more than two months since the last time a goaltender interference call has been furiously debated on Twitter. From March 12 to May 15 of last year, 200 regular season and 76 playoff games had been played, and the infamous hand pass game between San Jose and St. Louis in the Western Conference Finals had just played out to the horror of NHL Hockey Ops. That’s a lot of lost gate and broadcast revenue for the league, so recouping some of those losses through more playoff games does make sense on the surface, if you put yourself in the league’s shoes.
But at what cost? At the pause of the season, teams had played between 83-87% of their seasons with the understanding that 16 teams would make the playoffs and 15 teams …
Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation