Three reasons the 2020 NHL playoffs will succeed

Three reasons the 2020 NHL playoffs will succeed

Kyle Hatty, Hockey Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING– The COVID-19 pandemic caused the sports world to come to a screeching halt; however, the NHL has seemingly devised an exciting alternative by announcing its plan to return to action sometime within the next few months (more details here). The league will immediately return to a modified playoff format without finishing the remainder of the regular season, and the changes might lead to the most action-packed postseason in a long time, here’s why:

1.   More teams will be involved under the 24-team format

Instead of the traditional 16 teams in the playoffs, the NHL will give 24 teams a chance to compete in the postseason. By having this extended playoff format, more teams and cities are involved, which also means that more teams will get the chance to showcase their best players who will be playing on good rest after the extended layoff.


Photo: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

2.   Players come back well-rested, while also returning from injuries

This year may provide the strongest rosters in recent years since players are well-rested; the pandemic has given teams a chance to get key players off the injured reserve list in time for the postseason. Players that could be removed from the IR and be back in time to play include Mikko Rantanen (COL), Seth Jones (CBJ), Jake Guentzel (PIT), and Erik Karlsson (SJS). All four of these key players will make the playoffs more exciting and play pivotal roles for their respective franchises.

3.  Sports make their triumphant return

On top of the product on the ice being refined, the NHL may very well be the first major professional league to resume play since mid-March. The NHL could have the attention of sports fans across the U.S. because they may be the only league playing at the time. This would benefit the league and its players because of the increased exposure it would get due to the absence of sports; the league also wouldn’t need to compete with NBA playoffs for public viewership.