Report: NHL focusing on going straight into playoffs upon return

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The NHL is focusing on skipping the remainder of the regular season and jumping straight into the playoffs if it's able to resume play, ESPN's Greg Wyshynski reported Monday.

An immediate start to the postseason would represent a significant change in the league's position after April reports indicated the NHL was prioritizing regular-season games and considering condensing the playoffs.

Focus can shift quickly in such fluid situation as the league works to return amid a pandemic, Wyshynski noted; it was reported last week that a 24-team playoff format is gaining traction around the NHL.

Connor McDavid and Marc-Andre Fleury are among the most notable players who have voiced opposition to beginning the postseason without any regular-season games.

There were 189 regular-season contests remaining on the 2019-20 schedule when the NHL postponed the campaign on March 12 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Report: NHL focusing on going straight into playoffs upon return
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