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05-14-2012, 12:11 AM
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Mory Schneideur*
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Join Date: May 2012
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NHL Wild Card System

I've brushed on this topic a few times and just wanted to gauge how people feel.

The NHL is realigning into 4 conferences & that seems fine. Only question is the playoffs. I like the proposed playoff format but think the NHL would benefit from a Wild Card system.

The Wild Card system would be great because it would eliminate unfairness, create excitement & spice things up a bit with uncertainty.

Here's what I propose:

-Top 3 teams (by points) in each conference get seeded 1-3 automatically.
-The final 4th spot in each conference is open to teams with highest point total not seeded 1-3rd in a conference.
-A 4th seeded team with less points than a 5th seeded team in another conference would be able to defend its 4th seed in a 1-game elimination playoff, a lightning quick "Wild Card Round" with everything on the line for the teams battling for the 4th seeds. Only a team from another conference with *more* points than a 4th seed with less points can challenge for a Wild Card spot. The Wild Card game would be played under playoff rules and treated like a playoff game, meaning unlimited overtime periods. Stats would not count towards regular season.
-1st 2 rounds of playoffs are "divisional". 4 conference champs are then reseeded according to points. Remaining 2 teams play in SCF.

The reason a Wild Card system like this would be great is because with the reseeding, you can see 2 rivals come up through different conferences and possibly meet in the final 4 or the SCF. DET/CHI or NY/PHI or NJ/NYR would be possible for the cup.

Owners, fans & the league would benefit from the excitement of the extra wild card game being played. TV ratings would probably be high. Would make for great stories.

This year would see BUF/WSH play in a single elimination Wild Card game after the 82 game season is over and before the playoffs start.

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