The NHLPA Executive Board had a call on Thursday to discuss the proposed 24-team playoff structure for the NHL’s return to play. On Friday, the NHLPA officially announced approval of the 24-team structure and authorized further negotiations with the NHL in pursuing the return to play.
"The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup. Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play," the NHLPA said in a statement released on Friday night.
There were a number of issues presented during what was described as “spirited if not raucous” by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Among the issues that brought about such great emotion were testing, player safety, players leaving their families, pay and the belief that this issue should be a full-player vote and not just the Executive Board, where each team has one representative. Despite the passion, which made the call heated at times according to McKenzie, the vote was nearly unanimous to move ahead with the format, resulting in a 29-2 vote.