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Changes coming to playoff format?


brelic
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I was listening to CBC this morning and one of the correspondents claims to have a very good source who says there are two changes coming to the playoff format:

 

1. More teams will qualify - he didn't give a ton of detail, but what I got from it was that there would be more wildcard teams, and I'm assuming an extra round or single-game elimination perhaps? 

 

2. The league wants to revert to a seeding format where higher seeds face lower seeds within the conference instead of what we have now. Basically what we had before this year.

 

What do you guys think?

 

EDITED for clarity :)

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Interesting.

 

  Not certain how you can do extra teams unless as you say there is a play in game, an extra round is not really fair, giving a division winner a week or more off for a 'bye' makes little sense.

  As far as cross conference I am not certain, there is a certain symmetry to 1-16, 2-15, etc... but it makes the use of conferences superfluous. That would be my only problem with it. Of course I was vocal about my displeasure with the current system and ended my comment with something like, 'that is okay, it is the NHL, they wil change it within a year or two anyway' which sounds like they are at least considering. 

  I would be okay with it, I might actually like it as long as it is a play in game only. the 1-16 seeding, I might actually like a lot.

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Not certain how you can do extra teams unless as you say there is a play in game, an extra round is not really fair, giving a division winner a week or more off for a 'bye' makes little sense.

 

Yeah, a whole extra round would be a little much. Are they going to play until the end of June now?? Single-game elimination could be exciting for, say, playoff seeds 7 and 8 in each conference.

 


As far as cross conference I am not certain, there is a certain symmetry to 1-16, 2-15, etc... but it makes the use of conferences superfluous. That would be my only problem with it. Of course I was vocal about my displeasure with the current system and ended my comment with something like, 'that is okay, it is the NHL, they wil change it within a year or two anyway' which sounds like they are at least considering. 
  I would be okay with it, I might actually like it as long as it is a play in game only. the 1-16 seeding, I might actually like a lot.

 

Sorry, I think my post was confusing. I didn't mean across conferences, I meant within the conference. So, back to how it was before this year (or close to it).

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@brelic

 

I really like the new format. I think it is great to face a division opponent in the first two rounds (less if your the conference champion). I didn't really think they need to revert back after just on full playoff series. 

 

To me, if the NHL wants to grow its fanbase, they need to learn how to be consistent. If they start changing every other year it is going to drive the casual fan away.

 

One game elimination rounds is a good idea, but adding more teams is just absurd, especially since half the teams already qualify. To me that says: you can stink all year and squeeze in and then anything can happen. 

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I don't know if I'm a fan of another 5/7 game series.  Winning 16 games it hard enough, much less the chance that hockey will now be played until July.

 

 Preseason, 82 regular season games, and potentially 28-35 playoff games??  I'm curious what the NHLPA will have to say about that.  

 

Personally, I think every round should be re-seeded.  If higher seeds keep winning, they remain higher seeds that way; which places emphasis on playing well/finishing well in the regular season.  

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One game elimination rounds is a good idea, but adding more teams is just absurd, especially since half the teams already qualify. To me that says: you can stink all year and squeeze in and then anything can happen. 

 

The host brought that point up, and he answered by saying it used to be 16 teams qualified in a 21 team league for a long time. Now, a much lower percentage of teams qualify.

 


Personally, I think every round should be re-seeded.  If higher seeds keep winning, they remain higher seeds that way; which places emphasis on playing well/finishing well in the regular season.  

 

The host also questioned him on this, asking if it was because some of the matchups this year. He responded with "Exactly! There are some sour grapes that teams like Chicago/St. Louis had to face off in the first round and a top team had to go home." 

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If you stick with two divisions and seed based on record, these would have been the Western 1st-round matchups:

 

Anaheim-Dallas

Colorado-Minnesota

St.Louis-LA

Chicago-San Jose

 

So you would have ended up with the exact same result in the first round: Anaheim, Minny, Chicago, and LA. Chicago and LA would have just switched the opponents that they defeated. Minnesota would have then played Anaheim and Chicago would have played LA. The fact of the matter is that you will always have two strong teams that meet in the first round, no matter the format. Divisional play encourages rivalries, which makes a long regular season more interesting.

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Yeah, a whole extra round would be a little much. Are they going to play until the end of June now?? Single-game elimination could be exciting for, say, playoff seeds 7 and 8 in each conference.

 

 

 

 

Sorry, I think my post was confusing. I didn't mean across conferences, I meant within the conference. So, back to how it was before this year (or close to it).

I like the conference seeding 1-8 with the two division winners getting the top two seeds. That is what i was a proponent of from the get go. That would be outstanding. One thing with it though the Canadiens and Rangers would have been the 4 and 5 seeds and met in the first round.

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More teams will qualify - he didn't give a ton of detail, but what I got from it was that there would be more wildcard teams, and I'm assuming an extra round or single-game elimination perhaps? 

 

I do not like this it's already the most grueling playoffs of any sports....the teams maybe so beat up that it will effect the final product. I'm not liking this. But it would be fine for it to go back to the old format.

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Ever heard of if it ain't broke don't fix it....it was just fine last year and they broke it...it needs to return to last years format....16 wins is hard enough to accomplish.

Ever heard of two lengthy lockouts because the system is/was broken and MANY MANY MANY teams couldn't make money?

While do NOT agree with team placement but to avoid these F-Ing lockouts teams need to generate more REVENUE!

It's really that simple. Like it or not.

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Ever heard of two lengthy lockouts because the system is/was broken and MANY MANY MANY teams couldn't make money?

 

Well that is simple like they did Atlanta get the teams out of areas that don't care or support their hockey teams.

 

Florida needs to go somewhere else Seattle maybe even.

 

Phoenix can go to Hamilton. These are just examples get hockey into the hotbeds and out of the retirement homes.

 

Stuff like that needs to be done give hockey to the fans who want it.

 

Changing the playoff format is not the answer then you're watering down the product and effecting the finals greatly. The 16 wins it takes is grueling enough.

 

The gauntlet teams have to run already now some years are a war of attrition. I would like to revert back to last years playoff format don't believe me ask the fans here they'll tell you. 

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Well that is simple like they did Atlanta get the teams out of areas that don't care or support their hockey teams.

 

Florida needs to go somewhere else Seattle maybe even.

 

Phoenix can go to Hamilton. These are just examples get hockey into the hotbeds and out of the retirement homes.

 

Stuff like that needs to be done give hockey to the fans who want it.

 

Changing the playoff format is not the answer then you're watering down the product and effecting the finals greatly. The 16 wins it takes is grueling enough.

 

The gauntlet teams have to run already now some years are a war of attrition. I would like to revert back to last years playoff format don't believe me ask the fans here they'll tell you.

While I agree with you! As long as Gary is running the NHL get used to bad markets teams. Hey I fought this **** for years but it's a losing battle. As long as Gary has his SUPER MAJORITY clause the weak teams aren't going away!

Fact of life my friend. Tell me what the last two lockouts were about?

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Well that is simple like they did Atlanta get the teams out of areas that don't care or support their hockey teams.

 

Florida needs to go somewhere else Seattle maybe even.

 

Phoenix can go to Hamilton. These are just examples get hockey into the hotbeds and out of the retirement homes.

 

Stuff like that needs to be done give hockey to the fans who want it.

 

Changing the playoff format is not the answer then you're watering down the product and effecting the finals greatly. The 16 wins it takes is grueling enough.

 

The gauntlet teams have to run already now some years are a war of attrition. I would like to revert back to last years playoff format don't believe me ask the fans here they'll tell you.

And Gary doesn't give a **** about you or me. We will watch regardless. If you need evidence look no further than the stupid Shootout that Gary just said is going NOWHERE.

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Yeah, a whole extra round would be a little much. Are they going to play until the end of June now?? Single-game elimination could be exciting for, say, playoff seeds 7 and 8 in each conference.

 

Couldn't agree more. It sickens me that generally the SC is won mid to late june and essentially the baseball all star game is right around the corner. Allot of the reason it runs so late now is for TV / marketing purposes. For me, there should absolutely not be more than 1 game break in any round of the SC playoffs. Between rounds, give them two game. There should be a hockey game on every single night of the playoffs, with exception to the 2 break between rounds, even then, I would think one day (as not prior round ends succinctly) would be ok. 

 

Bash ESPN all you want, but one of the best things they did well in part with the NHL was to get the scheduling right. 

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Ever heard of if it ain't broke don't fix it....it was just fine last year and they broke it...it needs to return to last years format....16 wins is hard enough to accomplish.

 

Well, if that were true, we never would have had last year's format. In fact, we'd still have best of 5 series, and games that do not get settled in OT so they have to play an entire game on another night. 

 

And we wouldn't have the Flyers. 

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Couldn't agree more. It sickens me that generally the SC is won mid to late june and essentially the baseball all star game is right around the corner. Allot of the reason it runs so late now is for TV / marketing purposes. For me, there should absolutely not be more than 1 game break in any round of the SC playoffs. Between rounds, give them two game. There should be a hockey game on every single night of the playoffs, with exception to the 2 break between rounds, even then, I would think one day (as not prior round ends succinctly) would be ok. 

 

Bash ESPN all you want, but one of the best things they did well in part with the NHL was to get the scheduling right. 

 

 

I wish they'd start the season in mid-September. Preseason starts at the beginning of September. That means camp starts mid-August. Seems early, but not when you consider that the Stanley Cup would be awarded in May.

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a couple things:

 

I certainly see the need for a Toronto Exemption - maybe make it so they don't have to qualify every single year...I mean that's asking a lot of the Leaves. How about in the even years they compete like everyone else but in the odd years they get an automatic 6 seed? (LOL - thank you FC)

 

We've all "heard of revenue" but to blame Bettman is silly. GB works for the owners; the economics of the game - from ticket prices to the existence of teams in the American desert - are driven by what the owners want. Sometimes the commissioner just gets out of the way (the lockouts) and sometimes he leads the way (NHL's "ownership" of the Coyotes). And the NHLPA is supposed to be a kind of "counterweight" to the owners. Gary Bettman does not control the levers of power in the NHL; if anything he's more a puppet of the owners (though that's not quite accurate either).

 

I don't think starting earlier accomplishes anything because imo the season is already too long. 82 games plus another 16+ 25, 30 more PO games to become SC Champs...9 months. As a fan I love it but it comes at a cost: we're at the point of diminishing returns, in fan interest, in the amount of revenue teams can generate. Playing more games or starting earlier isn't a fix but maybe playing fewer games could be.

 

I'd like to see a shorter regular season and the PO brackets go back to how they were before this year. While we're at it let's lose the point system and go to a Win% ranking. Last, although I know it won't happen I'd love to get rid of the shootout and go back to games ending in a tie. But above all make the season closer to 70 games and finish the POs by June 1st. 9 months is just too long.

 

 

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a couple things:

I certainly see the need for a Toronto Exemption - maybe make it so they don't have to qualify every single year...I mean that's asking a lot of the Leaves. How about in the even years they compete like everyone else but in the odd years they get an automatic 6 seed? (LOL - thank you FC)

We've all "heard of revenue" but to blame Bettman is silly. GB works for the owners; the economics of the game - from ticket prices to the existence of teams in the American desert - are driven by what the owners want. Sometimes the commissioner just gets out of the way (the lockouts) and sometimes he leads the way (NHL's "ownership" of the Coyotes). And the NHLPA is supposed to be a kind of "counterweight" to the owners. Gary Bettman does not control the levers of power in the NHL; if anything he's more a puppet of the owners (though that's not quite accurate either).

I don't think starting earlier accomplishes anything because imo the season is already too long. 82 games plus another 16+ 25, 30 more PO games to become SC Champs...9 months. As a fan I love it but it comes at a cost: we're at the point of diminishing returns, in fan interest, in the amount of revenue teams can generate. Playing more games or starting earlier isn't a fix but maybe playing fewer games could be.

I'd like to see a shorter regular season and the PO brackets go back to how they were before this year. While we're at it let's lose the point system and go to a Win% ranking. Last, although I know it won't happen I'd love to get rid of the shootout and go back to games ending in a tie. But above all make the season closer to 70 games and finish the POs by June 1st. 9 months is just too long.

I can't agree with you on the Bettman thing.

He demanded and was granted the super majority clause in his contract! Why? Because what he wants can not be over ruled by a simple majority of the owners. To say he's not in control boarders on a very koolaid drinking statement.

Many times over the a years the owners in a majority wanted end the lockout and Gary's clause blocked it. All Gary needs is 8 votes to block anything.

Make no mistake GARY BETTMAN is in charge of the NHL business.

Edited by Old School Hockey
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[


Ever heard of two lengthy lockouts because the system is/was broken and MANY MANY MANY teams couldn't make money?

 

And away we go.......

 

You do realize the lockouts were to correct systems the owners put in place, and that the 2nd lockout was not about lack of revenue, but rather the owners wanted to lower the sharing percentage the NHLPA received?  

 

The league revenues are at all time highs.  Yes, the playoff expansion would be about revenue, but not because MANY teams are losing money.  It's because MANY owners want to maximize their return.  Or as some people say...they are greedy.  

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[

And away we go.......

You do realize the lockouts were to correct systems the owners put in place, and that the 2nd lockout was not about lack of revenue, but rather the owners wanted to lower the sharing percentage the NHLPA received?

The league revenues are at all time highs. Yes, the playoff expansion would be about revenue, but not because MANY teams are losing money. It's because MANY owners want to maximize their return. Or as some people say...they are greedy.

Does revenue equal profits? Again I’ve been one of the BIGGEST anti-owner guys on the face of the earth, but after 2 lengthy lockouts I realized Gary and the boys pull the strings NOT you and me. So why won’t Gary allow the bad markets to move? He’s trying attract NEW fans. He doesn’t give a rats behind about you or me. We are going and spending regardless of how bad other teams are doing. Gary Bettman has a very hard time admitting to his wrongs, such as bad market teams. Basically 7 teams carry the NHL Detroit, Toronto, Boston, NY Rangers, Montreal, Vancouver and Philadelphia.

So if adding a few more BIG revenue generating playoff games to the schedule avoid another lockout I’ll live with that. I’d much rather gripe about extra playoff games than more lost seasons. Listen there’s ABSOLUTELY no way to fight Gary and the owners other than stopping buying tickets and going to the games. Until that happens you are at their mercy.

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