Kings' Mike Richards (left) and Anze Kopitar hoist the Stanley Cup after defeating the Devils in six games on June 11, 2012. The NHL could expand the playoffs during a shortened season. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Files)
NEW YORK - The NHL could be throwing open the doors to the playoffs in a shortened season.
While it hasn't been part of the discussions for a collective bargaining agreement, Nick Kypreos of Rogers Sportsnet reported late Tuesday the NHL and NHL Players' Association have had talks about allowing four more teams -- two each in the East and West -- into the post-season this spring.
That would increase the playoff pool to 20 teams and would offer the opportunity to create more fan interest in the post-season this year. The idea of having 66% of the teams make the playoffs doesn't sit well with some, but it's the most exciting time of the year.