NHL: 2020 Ice Hockey Season Restarts!

After the biggest baseball league returned to action, the NHL are planning a return as well. The league began their planned phase 3 on Monday night as teams began training sessions. Additionally, this week some of the teams even played training games. The training camps will last for a week before the official season resumes. While the League announced its intention to begin a 24-team postseason bracket, including a first-of-its-kind qualifying round that will feature the Wild and Canucks, any return to play still needed to be officially agreed upon by both the NHL Players Association and the League’s Board of Governors. That approval is finally official. First games will be played on the 1st of August and we will explain everything about that below.

NHL Season Restart
NHL Season Restart

Each group voted — and passed — the NHL’s Return to Play plan, with Phase 3 training camps officially beginning on Monday and a return of game action (Phase 4) from two host cities commencing Aug. 1. Minnesota will play Vancouver in Game 1 of its best-of-5 game qualifying round series on Aug. 2. Additionally, the 12 Western Conference teams will head to Edmonton’s Rogers Place and the dozen teams from the Eastern Conference will be in Toronto and play at Scotiabank Arena. The goal now is to get players, coaches and staff to their respective cities healthy and ready to resume play on August 1st. In the meantime, head over to the Coinbet24 Bitcoin Sportsbook and check the best NHL odds and markets.

Everything you need to know for the 2020 season

Games have been scheduled on a staggered basis, providing hours of continuous action. The start times for the 10 days of Stanley Cup Qualifiers in Toronto (Eastern Conference games) will be: Noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET. In order to maximize the viewing experience for fans across North America, the start times for the three game windows in Edmonton (Western Conference games) – 2 p.m; 6:30 p.m; and 10:30 p.m. ET – may fluctuate by up to 30 minutes during the qualifying round.

The Stanley Cup Qualifiers featuring the 16 teams that are contesting best-of-five series to determine the eight teams advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, commonly referred to as the qualifying round, will begin on Saturday, Aug. 1, with five games: three in Toronto (Carolina vs. NY Rangers, Florida vs. NY Islanders and Montreal vs. Pittsburgh) and two in Edmonton (Chicago vs. Edmonton, Calgary vs. Winnipeg). The Stanley Cup Qualifiers featuring the top four teams from each conference to determine seeding in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, commonly referred to as the round robin, will begin on Sunday, Aug. 2, with two games, one in each hub city: Boston vs. Philadelphia (at Toronto) and Colorado vs. St. Louis (at Edmonton).

Play-Off Format

Twelve teams from each conference are involved. However, one-third of them won’t be for very long. Best-of-five Stanley Cup Qualifiers, pitting seeds 5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9 kick things off on Saturday. The winners of those series advance to the playoffs, where it’s the usual best-of-seven in each round. Instead of the division-centric format of years past, the NHL is going with conference-wide seeding. That means No. 1 plays No. 8, No. 2 plays No. 7, etc.

Stanley Cup Qualifiers
Stanley Cup Qualifiers

While the qualifiers are played, the top four seeds in each conference will engage in a round robin to determine the top four seeds for the first round of the playoffs. Additionally, those standings will use the regular-season points system, with ties broken by pre-pause performance. After the first round, teams are re-seeded so that the best team remaining in each conference always plays the worst.


For the eight teams that lose the qualifiers, there’s a silver lining. The NHL began its draft lottery in June while only knowing seven of the 15 teams involved. Those are the teams that were already eliminated and possessed the best odds. However, the other eight slots were held by “placeholders,” with each of them assigned descending odds. In classic NHL fashion, a placeholder team won the lottery, where QMJHL star Alexis Lafreniere is expected to be picked first overall. Now, the eight qualifier losers will share equal 12.5 per cent odds of winning this rather large consolation prize at Phase 2 of the lottery after qualifiers are done.

However, phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery will take place between the Stanley Cup Qualifiers and the start of the First Round on Aug. 10. Phase 2 will assign the first overall pick for the 2020 NHL Draft to one of the eight qualifying round teams that fail to advance. Nevertheless, the 2020 NHL Draft is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10.

Coinbet24 Bitcoin Betting Sportsbook & Online Casino

The Coinbet24 bitcoin sportsbook offers a broad selection of betting types and markets for the NHL. You will find bet types like 1X2, double chance, over/under totals, correct score bets, and handicap bets. Additionally, there is a huge selection of fantastic special offers. It’s important to note that you can bet on all of these fixtures while using bitcoin. The first games will be played on the 1st and 2nd of August. However, those games will only decide the final travelers to the play-offs. The play-offs will start on the 10th of August. Players will be able to enjoy 10 days filled with ice-hockey. Nevertheless, you can always find more information about the new National Hockey League season on the Coinbet24 Blog.