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Seven Takeaways From the NHL’s New Postseason Proposal

If this were any normal late May in any normal year, something controversial, majestic, or weird would absolutely be going down in the National Hockey League. A phantom offsides call; a physics-defying goal; a face-lick; things of that nature. The NHL’s postseason has long been one of the most chaotic in sports. Between the sloppy triple-overtime sudden-death marathons that hinge upon an exhausted lunge by some desperate fourth-liner, and the little-known, suddenly-hot goalies who bat away the status quo like it’s a shot on net, conventional wisdom is nowhere to be found in playoff hockey. So it felt oddly … normal? on Tuesday when commissioner Gary Bettman announced the NHL’s plan to potentially salvage its 2019-20 season in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. As Bettman outlined a framework for an ad-hoc Stanley Cup chase, making hockey the latest professional sport to grapple with the question of what to do next, his ideas were at once rollicking, ambitious, fun, and flawed.

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