May 22, 2020

Official: NHLPA votes to move forward with 24 Team Playoffs amidst some controversy

Lundqvist (USA Today)

Breaking now, the NHLPA has authorized to move forward with the 24 team return to play format. It wasn’t without some drama though, as reports coming out of Pittsburgh indicated the Penguins voted no. However, Kris Letang told Elliotte Friedman that they voted yes.

NHLPA Statement

Per their release:

“The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup. 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.​”

NHLPA (NHL.com)

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Penguins Drama

Reports surfaced earlier that Pittsburgh was furious about having to face Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens. So much so that Pittsburgh Hockey Now claimed they would vote no. Apparently that was erroneous and Penguins player rep, Kris Letang said while nobody gets everything they want a yes vote was given.

“At the end of the day, the playoffs are a different beast,” Letang said. “No matter (who) you play, it’s going to be hard. (If it wasn’t Montreal), it was going to be Washington, or Philadelphia, or a challenge like that. We have a lot of experience, I’ve never heard of an easy series. Look at Tampa from last year. We miss hockey and it would be fun to get the passion back, but the most important thing is everybody’s health,” Letang said. “Only if we can make it safe for everyone — including trainers, coaches, people who work at the rink (will we return to play).”

Sportsnet

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