Report: NHL, NHLPA agree to 1-year extension of playoff format
The NHL's controversial postseason format isn't going to change just yet.
The league and the NHLPA have agreed to keep the current divisional alignment and playoff format for at least one more season beyond this one, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
Any potential changes would be implemented no sooner than the 2020-21 campaign, adds LeBrun, who notes the two sides will continue to discuss the matter moving forward.
The current divisional alignment and playoff format have been repeatedly knocked this season by Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning and John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby also criticized it a few years ago, and then-Washington Capitals forward Daniel Winnik called it "the stupidest thing ever" in 2017.
The NHL made divisional changes ahead of the 2013-14 season. Since then, elite teams in their respective conferences have often met in playoff rounds before the conference finals; the changes have led to frequent early matchups between the Capitals and Penguins and between the Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, who will meet in the first round again this spring.