NEW YORK -- Traditionalists can rest. The NHL's playoff structure will remain unchanged.
The proposal to admit 20 teams to the National Hockey League playoffs has been deferred for at least a year.
The recommendation, one of many circulated in June by the league's executive vice-president for hockey-related matters, Colin Campbell, was that the seventh-place through 10th-place finishers in each conference would stage a best-of-three playoff.
The 16-team playoffs with best-of-seven series would start a week after the conclusion of the regular season.
But because the NHL governors have agreed to league participation in the Turin Olympics in February, it was decided that a further extension of the 2005-06 season was not a good idea.
But in general, the governors are in favour of the concept and will almost certainly agree to implement it for the 2006-07 season.