6/4/20 | The NHL has announced that following the best-of-five qualifying round, all four playoff rounds will be best-of-seven. They also announced that teams would be reseeded after each round.
5/28/20 | 5:14PM: Training camps won’t begin prior to July 10th, according to Elliotte Friedman.
5/26/20 | 9:02PM: Elliotte Friedman tweets that each team may play two exhibition games and be able to carry 28 skaters and as many goalies as they would like to carry.
5:13PM: The NHL has confirmed that the Rangers will play the Hurricanes in a best-of-five “qualifying series” when the NHL resumes this summer.
Training camps will begin no earlier than July 1 and the games will take place in one of the NHL’s two hub cities.
The format of the seeding and the length of the first and then second round of the playoffs is still to be determined.
The hub cities being considered by the NHL include Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, LA, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver.
The Rangers were 4-0 against the Hurricanes this season, outscoring them 17-9 though being outshot by a margin of 161 to 104.
Henrik Lundqvist played the first three games against the Hurricanes, stopping 125 of 132 shots but Igor Shesterkin played the Rangers most recent game against Carolina, stopping 27 of 29 shots on 2/21.
Chris Kreider will be able to return for the Rangers and Brendan Lemieux will be suspended for at least the first game of the season relating to his hit on Joonas Donskoi prior to the pause.
The NHL Draft will officially take place after the Stanley Cup is awarded.
Should the Rangers lose to Carolina they will be awarded* a pick between 8 and 15 based upon their where their regular season points percentage fits compared to the other teams that lost in the qualifying round.
The Rangers own the later of the Hurricanes two first round picks, which they acquired in exchange for Brady Skjei at the trade deadline.
*There is a scenario where the Rangers, or any team that loses in the qualifying round, could get a top-three pick but that would involve one of the teams (Listed as Teams A-H) ranked 8-15 in the lottery winning one of the three lottery drawings. If that is the case then all of the teams that lose in the qualifying round will have 12.5% each at that pick.
Adam Rotter: The Hurricanes are one of two teams that voted against this 24-team format but this is the format and they will get the Rangers. The Rangers beat Carolina thrice in 2019 and last played them on 2/21 in a 5-2 win. The Canes are strong defensively as a team but may still be without Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce, but the Rangers will see Brady Skjei on the other side. With the amount of young players Carolina has, this could be the first of many series between the two teams.
Igor Shesterkin will enter training camp as the favorite to start in net. Henrik Lundqvist, for some reason, has been at his best this past season against the Hurricanes but Shesterkin ended the regular season as the Rangers starter and unless he struggles in training camp, he will likely start against Carolina. Chris Kreider will be back and return to his spot next to Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. It will be interesting to see who gets invited to this training camp and how many players the Rangers are going to carry but with Brendan Lemieux out at least one, probably more, game we will likely see AHLers like Steven Fogarty, Boo Nieves possibly get some time in the bottom six.