NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced hockey will return to action this summer in a new playoff format, with the rest of the regular season being called off.
Bettman says the 2019-2020 regular season will not be completed, and that the top 24 teams, 12 from each conference, will effectively clinch postseason berths immediately and make up the the new postseason format, with the 7 remaining teams not returning again this season and going straight into the NHL Draft lottery
Two cities will serve as hubs for the tournament's location, essentially as 'bubbles' to better combat the coronavirus pandemic, with 10 cities currently vying to be selected.
Bettman said the 10 candidates will include Chicago, Columbus (OH), Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Eight teams, the top four from the East and the top four from the West, will compete in a round robin tournament to determine seeding for the top teams. The remaining 16 teams will play in a best-of-5, one round play-in series, with the 8 winners of the play-in rounds then joining the bracket with the 8 teams who already qualified to make up your usual 16-team playoff format.
Training camps won't start until July 1st at the earliest, and there is no date when the season will officially resume, however the league says it WILL resume at some point.