The National Hockey Players Association confirmed on May 22nd that they’ve agreed to extended negotiations with the NHL Corporate Division. These negotiations regarding a new Playoff Format, which would see twenty-four teams compete for the Stanley Cup throughout the 2019-20 Season. The new format would be issued for the 2021-22 NHL Season if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t concluded at that point.

Player Representatives from each NHL Team negotiated with the Board of Executives. Insiders noted that the NHL Player’s Association made several demands that the Corporate Division cannot abide. This has created difficulties in both parties reach a mutual agreement, forcing the extension on negotiations. There are some hockey analysts now questioning if both parties will sign a format contract, with them instead of worrying about personal glory and allowing the upcoming season to be entirely cancelled.

The tense relationship between the NHL Player’s Association, and Corporate Division has increased drastically since the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the 2019-20 Season into postponement by March 12th. There hasn’t been an official announcement when hockey matches will resume throughout North America. It requires extensive logistics that are hard to overcome, including a co-partnership between the American and Canadian Division of the National Hockey League. Considering that both countries are also at odds during the pandemic, the likelihood of this goal being accomplished is dismal.

Logistical Challenges

Health Experts with the Centre of Disease Control, Politician’s in the America Government, and the Canadian National Hockey Association will have to approve the new format issued by the corporate division. That’s if the NHL Player’s Association can sign a formal agreement with their employers. It should be noted that whenever national hockey in North America resumes, attendees won’t be permitted. Stadiums in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Las Vegas will remain empty in the stands.

Creating this new format goes against the core design of National Hockey. There aren’t 24 Outfits competing for the Stanley Cup, with the standard number being eight per conference. An additional eight teams are being permitted to compete. This could create considerable confusion for supporters of the NHL. We’ll provide our readers with an update on if these two parties make a formal agreement.

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