Shortly after rumours of a 24-team, three-game series playoff surfaced, some of the league’s top players have countered with a timeline to salvage both the 2019-20 regular season and playoffs in a standard format.
Per Frank Seravalli on TSN’s Insider Trading, here’s what the players have in mind…
This would involve a training camp kicking off in early July and the regular season getting completed by the end of the month. After that, the playoffs would happen between August and September, with the standard sixteen teams and seven-game series. Finally, the draft and free agency would get pushed back into October and the 2020-21 season wouldn’t start until November.
It’s clear the players want to find a way to complete the 2019-20 regular season. I would imagine a big priority for players, beyond just seeing through what they started, would be reaching bonuses written into contracts and reaching personal milestones. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem feasible at this stage to dedicate any time to regular-season games when a window to salvage some kind of playoffs is already a challenge.
Regardless, this has shown flexibility on the part of the players, which is a good thing. This is going to be an incredibly tricky situation to navigate, so both the league and the players are going to have to be willing to be flexible.