This season's edition of the NHL playoffs just got even more interesting.
On Thursday afternoon, the NHL announced that there would not be a bracket for each conference. Instead, after the best-of-five qualifying round, teams will be re-seeded in each conference.
The @NHL has announced more details of the playoff format for the Return to Play Plan following approval by the Leagues Board of Governors and the @NHLPA.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 4, 2020
The agreement is subject to the NHL and NHLPA reaching an overall agreement on resuming play. https://t.co/KThKX88JBb pic.twitter.com/8GLKgYoYfN
The highest remaining seed in each conference will take on the lowest remaining seed. The second-highest seed will take on the second-lowest, and etcetera. Many have been clamoring for this to replace the current NHL playoff format, which seems to pit the same teams against each other, year after year.
Although home-ice advantage probably won't be a factor, the NHL also announced the designations for home ice in each series:
The Blue Jackets are slated to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the qualifying round. As the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference, Columbus is likely to take on Boston or Tampa Bay in the first round if they are able to get by the Maple Leafs.
It'll be interesting to see how these series play out. In theory, the seeding and qualifying round should work quite well. I'm a big believer in #1 vs. #8, #2 vs #7, and so on and so forth. The seeding of teams in each conference will produce unique playoff matchups and exciting series.