Rangers Beat: How the NHL season should resume or should it all

In part three of our three part series with Rangers beat reporters, we asked them how they feel the NHL season should resume. One reporter wants it cancelled already. Here are their thoughts.

Colin Stephenson, NEWSDAY

 I read on nhl.com that Bill Daly said they can play into August, so that’s encouraging as far as resuming this season. I don’t think they can go directly to the playoffs. Teams will need a mini training camp and warmup games before they can play truly meaningful games, so I think they’ll play a handful or regular season games before going to the playoffs.

What I’d like to see then, is all 31 teams getting a crack at some kind of playoff games. What I would do is this:

Choose the top seven teams in each conference by points (or point percentage) and put them into the playoffs. Take the remaining 17 teams, seed them 1-17 (based on points, or point percentage) and have a one-and-done tournament to pick the final two playoff teams. Have teams 16 and 17 play one game, with the winner advancing to face the No. 1 seed. No. 2 then plays 15, etc., and the last two teams standing become the 15th and 16th playoff teams.

Kakko (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

If teams 15 and 16 are both in the same conference, have a one-game playoff between them where the winner gets to stay in its own conference, and the loser has to join the playoff field for the other conference. If teams 15 and 16 are in separate conferences, then they don’t need to play each other, and we can just go to the playoffs directly.

Then, time permitting, maybe best-of-three first round; best-of-five second round and best-of-seven conference finals and final.

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Brett Crygalis, NY POST

I think it shouldn’t come back (and wrote a column on why). It sucks, but just get ready for next year.

So call the season now. Get to figuring out how the lost money is going to be calculated in to future paychecks. Get to planning the combine, the draft and free agency. Allow team employees and the players to release the tension of uncertainty, allow them to focus on their health and their families, and eventually allow them to start planning for training camp in September (we hope) and a fruitful 2020-21 season.

NY POST 3/20/20

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Vince Mercogliano, LOHUD and USA TODAY

I hate to be a downer, but I’m growing more skeptical by the day that we’ll see a conclusion for the 2019-20 season. The truth is, no one knows for sure what’s going to happen, so don’t believe everything you see on Twitter. But based on conversations with people in the league, and from my own research into what it’s going to take for society to get back to normalcy, I have some serious doubts.

Shesterkin (Getty Images)

Of course, I hope I’m wrong. And if I am, I’d love to see them get creative with an expanded playoff field. Give the top four seeds an easier path, and then open it up with some fun stuff for the bubble teams. Twelve teams per conference? Why not as a one-time thing? They could play short series, and maybe even one-and-dones for the teams in the 11-12 seed range. I think it would draw a ton of interest and give the league some much-needed buzz.

The Rangers are one of those bubble teams, and they showed us at the end of the season that they could certainly make things interesting if given the opportunity. Final note: I want to send my love and well wishes to everyone. As a Manhattan resident, I’m amazed by the commitment I’ve seen from people all over the city – and I’m in awe of our health care workers. Please do your best to stay healthy and let’s get through this together.

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