Pittsburgh Penguins player tests positive for coronavirus

Tanya Simon
June 5, 2020

The National Hockey League announced Thursday night that it will be moving into Phase 2 of its plan to potentially resume its season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that shut down play in March.

The seeding format for successive rounds through the tourney has also been set, the highest remaining seed in each conference to face the lowest remaining, second-highest versus second-lowest and so on. All other rounds - the first, second, conference and Stanley Cup finals - will be traditional best-of-sevens.

When the National Hockey League announced its return-to-play plan late last month, it did not announce a series lengths for the first and second rounds of the playoff tournament.

While these aspects of the postseason plan were agreed to by the National Hockey League and NHLPA, they are subject to both parties formally agreeing to an overall final agreement on resuming play.

The top four teams in each conference are guaranteed playoff spots, and they will play a single round-robin competition to determine seeding. The higher seed will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7.

That, of course, is subject to the facilities being sanitized for COVID-19 and players continuing to observe the basics of physical distancing.

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Toronto captain John Tavares, a member of the NHL/NHLPA Return to Play committee, said he preferred the traditional seven-game series once the playoffs were down to the more traditional 16 teams. That would see practice facilities opened up to small groups of players for on- and off-ice workouts under strict health and safety restrictions.

A Penguins player tested positive for the coronavirus, the team announced in a statement Thursday. The NHL and NHLPA still have not determined how long the training camp will last.

"All necessary preparations for Phase 2, including those that require player participation (education, diagnostic testing, scheduling for medicals, etc.), can begin immediately". Re-seeding each round puts more value on the seeding tournaments between Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia in the East, and St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas in the West. No. 12 Montreal, No. 6 Carolina vs.

No. 7 New York Islanders vs.

No. 5 Edmonton Oilers vs.

No. 8 Calgary Flames vs.

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