The NHLPA executive committee, which features one player representative from all 31 teams, votes to continue negotiating with the league regarding the proposed 24-team format to be re-played.
Storm representative Jordan Martinook announced his team’s decision Monday for a conference call, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
“For where we are and where our team thinks we can achieve, it is detrimental to our opportunities,” Martinook said. “(But) it’s not like we don’t want to play.”
Lighting representative Alex Kilorn confirmed his team did not vote in interviews with Athletics during weekends.
“I brought the format to my team,” Killorn said. “They don’t feel it’s fair that certain teams that might not make the playoffs will have the chance to make the playoffs in the best-of-five series. My team also felt it was unfair that a team with a bye would not be too ready for the playoff series because the team that basically already played the playoff series to enter the playoffs.
“This is not my own opinion. As a PA representative I have the duty to represent the voice of my entire team. I don’t want people to think that we don’t want to play. Everyone on our team wants to play. Saying that, we are fine with the vote taken by PA and we are ready with that going forward.
Under the proposed format, which has not been finalized, the top four teams with percentage points at each conference will automatically win the playoff place while the next eight teams will play the best-of-five series to determine the other four playoff spots. But some questions still need to be answered, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, including whether the playoff will be bracketed or based on seeding.
Lightning in this format will be one of the top four teams in the East, while Hurricanes will be seeded No. 6 and must face Number 11, New York Rangers.
Pittsburgh Penguins is one of the teams that chose yes. In Interview with Friedman, team representative Kris Letang said there was no solution that would be the perfect solution.
“In the end, no one got what they wanted,” Letang said. “But, we all want the best for hockey and continue to develop the game.”
On Monday the NHL announced plans for Phase 2 a return to play plan, which allows limited training on ice and provides some testing guides to the team. Monday’s announcement does not include a specific time period for returning to ice, but the NHL has set a target for early June to allow a small group of players to start using team facilities.
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