SUN Hockey Pool

NHL right on schedule? Not really ... Teams want to ditch current format, then look at March Madness-like playoffs

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 1:09 PM ET

The NHL will have some tough decisions to make tomorrow at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla.

Sources told the Sun not only will the schedule be a major topic of discussion during the two-day board of governors meeting, NHL owners are also considering a major change to the playoff format.

While NHL GMs decided to put off any discussion about the schedule a couple of weeks ago , it's believed more than 15 owners called commissioner Gary Bettman and demanded he put it on the agenda.

There are seven different proposals on the table for a new schedule next season.

The big complaint about the current schedule is it hasn't created the rivalries that everybody expected.

The owners would like to see every team from the East and West play at least once because under the current format the Toronto Maple Leafs might not travel to Edmonton or Calgary for a three-year stretch.

And, for the playoffs, the NHL is looking at a bracketed format -- using the NBA and the NCAA March Madness tournament as examples.

Currently, the NHL re-seeds after every round.

"These are very divisise issues and there is going to be a lot of discussion because the GMs couldn't find a consensus," said a source.


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