NHL not considering new playoff format: commissioner Gary Bettman

EDMONTON – Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL has no plans to change its playoff format, regardless of what other leagues are doing.

Bettman says the current 16-team structure makes both regular-season and playoff games meaningful.

The NBA has moved to include a play-in tournament which gives some teams a last shot at making the post-season and MLB expanded its playoffs last season.

The NHL used a play-in tournament in two “bubbles” to finish out the 2019-20 season after it was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bettman’s comments were part of a wide-ranging press conference with media in Edmonton Wednesday ahead of Game 2 between the Oilers and L.A. Kings in a first-round playoff series.

He also spoke about the state of the league coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the NHL had to be agile to weather the pandemic but came out strong and will post record revenues this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022.

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