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Report: Gary Bettman Expected to Announce NHL’s Return to Play Plan at 3:30 CDT

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The NHL is finally ready to announce what they might be doing, maybe

2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Nashville Predators v Dallas Stars Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

There’s been a lot of talk about what the NHL’s return might look like. And, in truth, there is still much we don’t (and can’t) know.

What we do know, or at least will know, is that today will bring some actual, concrete information.

This comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that the NHLPA had agreed in principle to the 24-team playoff-that-isn’t-a-playoff format.

It is also expected that the NHL will be releasing its plan for the draft as well, per Bob McKenzie and others. However, there is merit in taking care not to get too excited just yet.

Yes, this is probably something like what a return could look like. Yes, the Dallas Stars would probably have some kind of a first-round bye for the play-in phase if they stick with this plan.

And yes: never fear, Edmontonians! You can still win the draft lottery this year despite being second in your division when play was stopped in March:

As a reminder, even if this announcement is something like a confirmation of what we’ve been hearing for some time, it doesn’t mean we’re on the doorstep of real games. Heck, we haven’t even seen players begin skating yet, let alone practicing.

But each step in the process matters, and while folks certainly have mixed feelings about the prudence behind pushing the league’s return amid *gestures arms wildly* all this, clarity is clarity, and this will be something like that.

So, what do you think? Is this format, if ratified in some fashion, good for the team? The league? Or is this a traveshamockery of hockey as we know it?

If nothing else, tonight will bring actual news and confirmation to get mad about. So in that sense, it does feel just like old times again, if in no other sense just yet.