The NHL announced its Return to Play Plan on Tuesday with 24 teams in competition for the Stanley Cup.
The tournament will begin with a 16-team, eight-series Qualifying Round and a Seeding Round Robin among the top four teams in each conference to determine seeds for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The NHL paused the regular season March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and its remaining 189 games will not be completed. The 12 qualifying teams from the Eastern and Western conferences were determined by points percentage as of that date. Seven teams did not qualify.
"I want to make clear that the health and safety of our players, coaches, essential support staff and our communities are paramount," Commissioner Gary Bettman said in announcing the Return to Play Plan. "While nothing is without risk, ensuring health and safety has been central to all of our planning so far and will remain so.
"Let me assure you that the reason we are doing this is because our fans have told us in overwhelming numbers that they want to complete the season if at all possible. And our players and our teams are clear that they want to play and bring the season to its rightful conclusion."