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Gary Bettman Basically Promises That We Are Getting NHL Hockey This Year

However, in a town hall with San Jose Sharks season ticket holders, Bettman said he’s not thinking about calling off the campaign — in fact doing so is “something (he’s) not even contemplating.” “I believe that if the right time comes, and the right circumstances, based on all of the options that we’re considering and our ability to execute them, we’ll get this season done,” Bettman said, via The Mercury News. “I don’t want to sound Pollyanna, but canceling is too easy a solution. That means you stop working hard to do all of the things that we’re doing, and I ultimately believe that there will be an opportunity.”

Cancel the NHL season...no way, no how. That, to my knowledge, is the hardest line Bettman or anyone else in the NHL has taken so far with regards to restarting the NHL. There's been a lot of hemming and hawing from players, owners, and everyone in the entire country and Gary Bettman finally stood up and said NO. Why would he take such a hard stance...I really can't say

I have no idea how this is going to play out because restarting the NHL and jumping right to the playoffs is clearly on the table if you read what Pierre Lebrun wrote in The Athletic

My take: Some team executives prefer the 20-team format (No. 7 vs. No. 10 and No. 8 vs. No. 9 on each side before you get your final 16). But the 24-team format seems to be the front-runner right now even if Daly is saying not to lock in any format yet. The obvious benefit of going with 24 teams is having more teams involved, but I also think the inclusion of 12th-place clubs — Montreal and Chicago from each side, big Original Six markets — has obvious appeal.

I spoke with one team executive Tuesday whose club is among the bottom seven teams in the overall standings, and his impression was that his team wasn’t returning to play this season. Which would indeed be the case if it’s 24 teams and not 31 teams returning to finish the season.

No fans, straight to playoffs, but a weird ass format that includes 24 of the 31 teams while the other 7 teams who suck just mail it in. I have no idea how the financials work here, but sign me up for a format that includes the Hawks and Habs. Just give me another 3-5 games of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and I will call this restart a success. 

They should do a losers bracket though too. I know the draft is all sorts of fucked up this year. It might be in 3 weeks, but no announcement has been made. Just take the 7 teams at the bottom of the league, send them to Arizona, and have them play for the right to have the #1 pick. 

Buffalo vs Ottawa

San Jose vs New Jersey

LA vs Anaheim

Detroit, as the unquestioned worst. team. ever gets a bye in the first round tournament of suck. Then Detroit should also get to pick who they want to play in the next round. Winner of the tournament gets the top pick. That would almost be as compelling as the early rounds of the real playoffs. Make Lafreniere sit in the box with a camera on him the entire time during the Final. Imagine if it's Buffalo vs LA in the final and he's sitting there with his future in his hands. Riding on game that decides 80 and sunny with smokes everywhere vs 28 and constant snow. It'd be incredible theatre.

Either way it feels great to know that the NHL and NHLPA are making progress towards having some sort of conclusion to this clusterfuck of a season. Hockey>no hockey. Let's just get there any way we can.