Stanley Cup Champ Wants 16 Teams In NHL Return

AUDIO-AT&T Sportsnet’s Jay Caufield on the Fan

Jeff Hathhorn
May 20, 2020 - 2:16 pm
Sidney Crosby

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – A Stanley Cup champion Penguin believes hockey will return, but the most discussed format needs changed.

Now with AT&T Sportsnet, hockey analyst Jay Caufield told Cook & Joe on 93.7 the Fan Wednesday the NHL should either go by current standings or winning percentage and pick the teams in the post-season now.  So instead of the proposed 24 teams with a round robin tournament, go with the normal 16 post-season teams.

“All we ever say is from October on, you don’t want to give up points it will come back to haunt you,” Caufield said.  “Well, if it ever applies, it applies now.  If you are a team that didn’t play well early and starting to come on and are on the outside looking in.  That’s the way it goes.”

Caufield mentioned one big issue, the standings.  For instance in the Eastern Conference, Carolina and Columbus are the last teams in.  But the Islanders have played two fewer games and are a point back of the Blue Jackets.  Rangers have a better winning percentage than Columbus with four more wins.  Out west, similar issues with Nashville, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Minnesota.

“You don’t want to Mickey Mouse it,” Caufield said.  “I like 16 teams in it right now and you play four, seven game series.  I think the less amount of people involved will be better.”

And that would mean a few hundred less people around the hub cities, which would decrease the risk of infection and save hundreds, if not thousands, of tests.

Caufield believes the first domino fell in the return of sports with golf and NASCAR events over the weekend.  He believes that when people realize the door is open, you’ll see hockey. 

Especially when you look at the money teams are losing while not playing.

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