Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Place in Edmonton will be busy once the calendar turns to August.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Qualifying Round, which will consist of a total of eight best-of-five series featuring the teams seeded 5 through 12 in each conference, and the Seeding Round, which is a round-robin bracket for the top four teams in each conference, will take place concurrently, with three games being played in each arena every day at noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time. The games in Edmonton will start two hours after the games in Toronto.
The Seeding Round games will be given the middle time slot in each city. This will help eliminate the possibility of the 8 p.m. starting late as the games involving the top four seeds will be played using the regular season format with a five-minute overtime and shootout if the game is tied after regulation.
Hypothetically, the schedule for the first two days of the playoffs would look like this below. I took the liberty of penciling in the teams, putting the Florida Panthers - New York Islanders series into the noon time slot because that’s probably what’s going to happen. Don’t expect to see the Panthers in prime time, unless the NHL mandates that there is a rotation of all teams, giving each QR series at least one 8 p.m. start.
After going four-plus months without hockey, that kind of schedule will help everyone get their fix.