Gary Bettman will announce the official 24-team Return to Play format today at 4:30 est. Also expected is clarity on whether the tournament will be bracketed, or reseeded
— NHL Rumors (@NHLRumorsDaily) May 26, 2020
This is huge. And the first step to getting real sports that matter back in our lives. I am hoping that they do 1 through 24 ranked straight. Let’s get weird with it. Screw the traditional East vs West Stanley Cup Finals. This is going to be a once in a life time opportunity to have fun with the format. We’ve got another 100+ years of East vs West. Toss everyone in a big bucket and let them take swings at each other.
Imagine getting a second round match up of the Flyers vs the Wild? Or the Blackhawks. This has the opportunity to be the most compelling tv you’ll see in a long time. One of the big 4 leagues need to step up like golf did this past weekend. The Match was the most watched golf event EVER.
JUST IN: “The Match” draws an average of 5.8 million viewers, a record for a golf event on cable.
“The Last Dance” episodes averaged 5.6 million viewers.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 25, 2020
If I am an owner or a commissioner I’m figuring out a way to be the first league back. If NHL comes back in a few weeks and the NBA and MLB aren’t up and running yet, they will make cash. The only sport playing will draw like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Jump right into this playoff format and you’re looking at what? North of 20 million viewers? Or more? It would be the most watched hockey game ever played I can promise you that.
Let’s it done Gary. I believe.