If the NHL’s proposed plan to resume play comes to fruition, the Chicago Blackhawks will be playoff-bound, taking on the Edmonton Oilers in a best-of-five series later this summer.
According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, 12 teams from each conference will participate in a tournament later this year to determine the Stanley Cup winner. The Blackhawks, the 12th-seeded team in the Western Conference, will be seeded in a play-in round against the Oilers, with the winner advancing to the next round and taking on one of the conference’s top four teams.
The commissioner also detailed how the league would move forward with restarting the season, with guidance from medical experts and local authorities. Phase Two of the league’s plan could start as soon as early June, with teams allowed to return to their home facilities to begin voluntary on and off-ice workouts.
In Phase Three, teams entering the 24-team playoff tournament will be allowed to begin training camp, but that phase can begin no earlier than July 1, according to the commissioner.
Phase Four will see the tournament itself, which will be played in two hub cities later this summer. Each city will host 12 teams, with the top four seeds in each conference playing in a round-robin format to determine the top four seeds in the playoffs.
The remaining eight clubs will face-off in best-of-five series, with the four winners advancing to the next round to take on the top four clubs in the conference.