Two days after the NHL revealed its return-to-play plan, Edmonton Oilers star forward Connor McDavid and defenceman Darnell Nurse were already looking ahead to potentially playing in the 24-team Stanley Cup format.
On the prospects of Edmonton becoming one of two hub cities, McDavid said he’s not expecting any kind of edge.
“It would probably not be a major advantage,” McDavid said to reporters during a media conference. “It’s going to feel weird in that building no matter where you play. No matter if you’ve played there a hundred times, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never played there.
“The building is going to feel weird with no fans being in there and what not, so I would say probably not. That’s just my opinion.”
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Nurse, meanwhile won’t be fazed by playing in front of empty seats.
The new plan would see the top-4 clubs in the Eastern and Western Conference play two abbreviated round-robin tournaments to determine playoff seeding.
The other eight teams in each conference would play a best-of-five ‘play-in’ series — No. 5 versus No. 12, No. 6 versus No. 11, No. 7 versus No. 10, and No. 8 versus No. 9 — to determine the 16 clubs left standing for the playoffs.
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In the West, the best-of-five matchups would include Edmonton versus Chicago, Nashville versus Arizona, Vancouver versus Minnesota, and Calgary versus Winnipeg.
The East’s best-of-five play-ins would see Pittsburgh versus Montreal, Carolina versus the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders versus Florida, and Toronto versus Columbus.
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