Nobody knows what the Stanley Cup Playoffs could look like if the season resumes, but P.K Subban suggests a 31-team format to give every team a shot, including his Devils.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced every sports league around the world to shut down, including the NHL. While the Stanley Cup Playoffs would have started within the next week, they are now on hold until at least the summer, if they come back at all. But with such a short window to award the Stanley Cup before cutting into the 2020-21 season, what would be the best way to make it fair for all teams that deserve a chance?
New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban was on First Take Thursday morning, primarily discussing football for whatever reason. However when they eventually did get to talking hockey, Subban vocalized his support for a 31-team playoff format that would give all teams a shot at the Stanley Cup.
Subban said the idea was “floated around” on social media around the time of the pause, and that he personally would love to see it since his Devils were “pushing to make the playoffs down the stretch,” which would really broaden which teams are in the playoff hunt since the Devils are 13 points back of a playoff spot with 13 games left, but a little optimism in a time like this couldn’t hurt.
Even though Subban may not exactly be unbiased in his support for this format since it would help his Devils out, he’s not entirely off base with the idea for this format. Shutting down the rest of the season for non-playoff teams would destroy their revenues, and giving them at least a chance to bring in some fans would do wonders to staunch the bleeding caused by the season pause.
Based on pure speculation, it’s unlikely that this format would see the league leading Boston Bruins take on the league worst Detroit Red Wings, but rather having teams outside of a playoff spot right now play a certain amount of play-in games against each other in order to qualify for a wild card spot.
The NHL is likely going to have to get weird in order to fairly award the Stanley Cup and make up for some lost revenue. However, it’s going to be a long time before we see anything official since nobody knows how long this pandemic is going to last. Hopefully we can still have the Stanley Cup being awarded as a light at the end of the tunnel.
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