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Sports News

Report: NHL plotting two playoffs hubs, 12 teams each

FILE PHOTO: December 3, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; (Editor's Note: Photo taken with a circular fisheye lens.) San Jose Sharks left wing Marcus Sorensen (20) looks at the puck in front of Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Board of Governors is scheduled to hold a conference call at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, and the prevailing preference appears to be using two hub cities with 12 teams apiece for the 2020 playoffs.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said on multiple occasions over the past two weeks that the league is determined to hold the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Darren Dreger of TSN reported Monday there are still issues to sort out with expansion of the playoffs, which typically would include eight teams from each conference.

Bob McKenzie of TSN said nothing is firmed up yet, but Las Vegas -- where an entire resort connected to an arena could be dedicated to players and staff -- was likely to be one of the hubs.

The league also has looked into returning to play with either a traditional 16-team or 20-team tournament. The NHL halted play on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic with teams having between 11 and 14 games left in the regular season.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said last week the two sides had been having trouble deciding how to bring some teams that wouldn’t have qualified for the postseason into a playoff.

--Field Level Media

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