An NHL return with a 24-team playoff format is gaining steam and really starting to become a reality according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic and TSN.
While more and more NHL players continue to go on the record with their safety concerns over an NHL return, the NHL Return To Play Committee has reportedly made substantial progress on their proposal to bring the league back from the Coronavirus pause that began March 12. On Sunday morning LeBrun of TSN reported that the group was zeroed in on the 24-team format and that formal proposal could be presented this week. From LeBruin’s Twitter feed:
“Sources indicate the Return To Play Committee has talked throughout the weekend, NHL-NHLPA making progress on a 24-team format. Sources also stressing there’s still work to be done, but clearly the weekend has produced some traction. More talks expected over next day or two.”
LeBrun also pointed out that the NHL Board Of Governors was scheduled to have another conference call on Monday as well.
Sources indicate the Return To Play Committee has talked throughout the weekend, NHL-NHLPA making progress on a 24-team format. Sources also stressing there's still work to be done, but clearly the weekend has produced some traction. More talks expected over next day or two.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 17, 2020
Spare Us The Playoffs Integrity Mantra
Stick tap to hall of fame hockey scribe Larry Brooks of the New York Post for calling out the numerous media members like Jack Edwards of NESN and urging them to get down from their high horse when discussing the potential 24-team playoff format. Edwards and others have said that such a return would tarnish the integrity of the Stanley Cup but as Brooks pointed out, that integrity has never really existed with the asinine and money-driven playoff format the league has used since the days of the Original 6. From Brooks’ Sunday column:
“Year after year, brackets produce matchups that reward the weak while punishing the strong, but now, in 2020 while the world has been turned upside down by a pandemic, it might not be fair if teams like the Rangers, Montreal, and Chicago are included in an expanded tournament because one of them could actually win?
Pardon me while I guffaw.”
Chiarelli To The Coyotes?
Could former Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli end up with the Arizona Coyotes soon? Chiarelli – who won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 – has been working as a Special Advisor to St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong for the last two seasons. He got some small revenge on the Bruins for firing him back in 2015 by helping the Blues beat the Bruins in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final last season. As Steve Simmons wrote in his Sunday Notes though, Chiarelli could be plying his trade in the desert soon.
“For some reason, and we’re not sure why commissioner Gary Bettman wants former Oilers and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli back working in the NHL. He’d like to place him with the historically dysfunctional Arizona Coyotes,” Simmons wrote.
The Coyotes recently parted ways with CEO and President Ahron Cohen. Could that position be waiting for Chiarelli?
Iginla In Boston Beer League?
Could former Bruin and longtime Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla make a return to the ice in a Boston beer league?
“I’m starting to get the itch,” Iginla, 42, told Matt Porter of the Boston Globe. “For a while there, I thought, ‘I don’t want to be out there in beer-league hockey or whatever.’ But I’m starting to see how that could be fun again. The camaraderie. I’m not there yet, I could see it in another few years.”
Mangia Mangia For BPD Thanks To Bourque
Bruins hall of fame defenseman Ray Bourque has had a very successful post-hockey career as a restaurant owner in Boston’s Italian North End and this past week, Bourque made sure that some members of the Boston Police Department were fed right with lunch from his restaurant Tresca.