PHILADELPHIA, PA - The NHL announced Tuesday that it plans to abandon the rest of the regular season and go straight into the playoffs with 24 teams instead of 16 if they can resume play.
While the NHL and NHL Players’ Association figure out health and safety protocols including where the teams will be able to play safely, the Philadelphia Flyers will enter the playoffs if games are able to resume.
In the NHL’s Return to Play plan, there will be two different rounds before the playoffs begin, the Round Robin and the Qualifying Rounds. Since the shut down in March, the Flyers currently hold the 4th best record in the Eastern Conference and will be eligible to play in the Round Robin tournament for top seeding along with the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lighting and Washington Capitals.
The other 8 remaining teams in the Eastern Conference will play in best-of-5 games.
Current Philadelphia Flyer James Van Riemsdyk was one of the players to help with the process of getting the NHL closer to being able to play games.
The games are expected to be hosted in 2 different hub cities, one for each conference and are expected to be played without fans in a few locations.The potential locations for games to be played are as follows:
- Chicago, IL
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Edmonton, AB
- Las Vegas, NV
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Toronto, ON
- Vancouver, BC
Earlier in the week, the league and Players’ Association issued protocols for once players are allowed to return to the facilities and NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced an order that will allow professional teams that play and practice in New Jersey to resume. The current Flyers practice facility is located in Voorhees, New Jersey.