Martinook: Hurricanes voted against 24-team format because 'it hurts our odds'
The Carolina Hurricanes were one of two clubs to vote against the proposed 24-team playoff format on Friday due to the possible handicap it puts on the team.
"It's not like we didn't want to play or anything, it's just that we felt this particular option maybe didn't benefit us - and it's not gonna benefit every team, but this is just the stance that we took," Martinook added, according to The Athletic's Sara Civian. "(This format) doesn’t really benefit the teams that are in 5, 6, 7 and 8 so it kinda hinders those teams. Then it obviously gives a lot to 9, 10, 11 and 12. It didn’t really benefit our team in any way."
The Tampa Bay Lightning were the other team to vote no, citing similar reasons.
At the time of the 2019-20 season's pause on March 12, the Hurricanes sat in the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a 38-25-5 record.
Martinook added that despite the majority voting in favor of the format, his team is ready to move forward and play if the opportunity does eventually arise.
"But it's going to be good for the game. It's going to grow the game. It's going to keep a lot of fan bases in it and we want to do anything we can to keep people excited in the times that we're in," Martinook said. "We're not looking past that, we want the NHL to do the best we can, and we want the players to help the world and give people something to rally around."
Under the proposed format, 16 teams will need to take part in a best-of-five play-in series in order to secure a spot in the playoffs. Only the top four teams in each conference are guaranteed a berth.
The Hurricanes would be set to take on the New York Rangers in their play-in series if the format is ultimately approved. This season, Carolina went 0-4 in their meetings with the Rangers.
After voting in favor to authorize further negotiations on the format on Friday, a formal announcement of approval is expected in the coming days.