Blackhawks to play the Oilers in NHL's 24-team playoff proposal

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Monday evening, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the NHL and NHLPA are "working on a 24-team conference-based playoff setup."

The setup would help the NHL, which was paused on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, return to action. 

Teams and players would still need to approve the scenario. Discussions to iron it out could happen as early as Thursday per Friedman.

The top four seeds — based on points percentage — in each conference would get a bye through the play-in round but participate in a three-game tournament. Friedman wasn't certain if the three-game tourney will affect seeding.

The remainder of the playoffs would be "bracketed" with No. 5 playing No. 12 in each conference and the winner of that matchup playing No. 4. In the West, the Blackhawks (12) would play the Edmonton Oilers (5) with the winner getting the Dallas Stars in the next round.

The play-in round would be a best-of-five. The rest of the postseason would be best-of-seven.

One obstacle the NHL may need to work through to see the 24-team playoff come to fruition is the new border agreement between the US and Canada, upholding restrictions through June 21. 

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