How do NHL standings work? Here’s a break down of how the NHL regular season works, what the playoffs look like, and how the Stanley Cup is ultimately decided.
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How NHL standings work
In the National Hockey League, the standings are theylum peach determined by a points system. The team with the most points in each conference is declared the conference champion, and earns home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Stanley Cup playoffs consist of four rounds of best-of-seven series.
The first three rounds match teams within their respective division (there are four divisions in each conference), using a 1–8 seeding. In the Stanley Cup Finals, the two conference champions play each other, regardless of divisional alignment.
During the regular season, if two or more teams are tied in points, various tie-breaking procedures are employed to determine which team gains higher standing. The higher standing achieved by one of these teams is referred to as a playoff berth.
How the NHL playoff system works
The NHL playoff system is a tournament whereby the top hockey teams in the world compete for the coveted Stanley Cup. The playoffs are held every year after the conclusion of the regular season, and they typically last for around two months. In order to be eligible for the playoffs, teams must first qualify by finishing in either first place or one of the top four spots in their respective division.
Once the playoffs begin, each team is placed into a bracket where they will compete against another team in a best-of-seven series. The team that wins four games first advances to the next round, and so on until only two teams remain. These two teams then compete in the Stanley Cup Finals, with the winner being crowned champions of the NHL.
How the NHL draft lottery works
The NHL draft lottery is a weighted system that gives all non-playoff teams a chance at the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. The 14 teams that miss the playoffs are given odds based on their regular season points total, with the team that finished last having the best chance of winning the lottery. The odds of winning the lottery are not equal for all 14 teams, and they are adjusted slightly each year.
The odds of winning the lottery are as follows:
-Team with fewest points: 25%
-Team with second fewest points: 18.8%
-Team with third fewest points: 14.2%
-Team with fourth fewest points: 10.7%
-Team with fifth fewest points: 8.1%
-Team with sixth fewest points: 6.2%
-Teams seventh through 12th: 2.1% each
-Team 13th overall: 0.5%
-Team 14th overall: 0%.
How the NHL salary cap works
Under the NHL’s current collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to in 2013 and runs through the 2021-22 season, each team has a so-called “team payroll” that cannot exceed $81.5 million for the 2019-20 season. That number will go up to $82 million for the 2020-21 season and $82.5 million for the 2021-22 season.
The team payroll is the total amount of money that a team is paying its players in salary and bonuses for a given season. It does not include any other money that might be paid to players, such as money paid to players who are no longer on the team (for example, if a player is traded mid-season, his new team would not be responsible for any of his previous team’s salary or bonuses).
How the NHL expansion draft works
NHL standings are determined by a points system. Two points are awarded for a win, one point for an overtime or shootout loss, and zero points for a regulation loss.
The NHL playoffs consist of 16 teams, eight from each conference. The conference champions advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
The top three teams in each division make the playoffs. The next two teams in each conference (wild cards) also make the playoffs.
The divisional and conference playoff brackets are reset every year. The top seed in each conference plays the wild card team with the lesser record and the other divisional winners face each other.
How the NHL free agency works
NHL free agency offers players the opportunity to sign with any team that they choose, with a few notable exceptions. Restricted free agents are players who have not completed their entry-level contract or who have been in the NHL for less than four years. These players can only sign an offer sheet with their current team, which the team then has seven days to match. If the team does not match the offer sheet, the player is free to sign with any other team in the league.
Unrestricted free agents are players who have completed their entry-level contract or who have been in the NHL for more than four years. These players are free to sign with any team in the league, without restriction.
The NHL free agency period begins on July 1st of each year, and typically lasts until mid-August. During this time, teams can begin signing unrestricted free agents to contracts. However, restricted free agents can only sign offer sheets with their current team during this period – they cannot sign with another team until their current team has had a chance to match the offer sheet.
How the NHL trade deadline works
At the NHL trade deadline, teams have a chance to improve their rosters for a playoff push by trading for players who can help them make a run at the Stanley Cup. But how do NHL standings work, and what factors go into determining who is eligible to be traded?
NHL standings are based on a points system, with teams receiving two points for a win and one point for a loss. In the case of overtime losses, teams receive one point but lose the opportunity to earn an additional point for winning in regulation. shootouts are not used to decide games in the regular season, so if the score is still tied after overtime, it remains a tie.
The trade deadline usually falls in late February or early March, and it is the last day on which teams can make trades before the playoffs begin. Players who have been traded are not eligible to play in the playoffs for their new team, so teams need to be sure that they are happy with their rosters before the deadline passes.
To be eligible for the playoffs, a team must finish in either first or second place in their conference. In recent years, there have also been wild card spots up for grabs, which go to the two teams with the next best records regardless of conference.
Once the NHL standings are finalized and the playoff field is set, it’s time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs!
How the NHL all-star game works
The National Hockey League All-Star Game is an exhibition game held annually between the best players from the Eastern and Western Conference of the NHL. The game is held during the All-Star break, which is a five-day break in the middle of the NHL regular season.
During the All-Star break, no NHL games are scheduled. Instead, the League’s all-stars – as well as some former NHL players and celebrities – take part in a number of events, including Skills Competition and an All-Star Game.
The Skills Competition includes various contests to showcase the individual talents of the all-stars. These skills include fastest skater, hardest shot and accuracy shooting. The main event, however, is the All-Star Game itself.
In the All-Star Game, two teams – one from each conference – compete against each other in a 60-minute game. The teams are made up of 11 players each: six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.
The format of the game has changed several times over its history. Currently, after each team has taken turns playing offense and defense for 20 minutes, a mini game is played for another 20 minutes. This mini game consists of three skaters and one goaltender per team on each side of the ice. The first team to score eight goals wins this mini game and is declared the winner of the overall All-Star Game.
How the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs work
The Stanley Cup playoffs (French: Les séries éliminatoires de la Coupe Stanley) are an elimination tournament in the National Hockey League (NHL) to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. Ever since the 1893–94 season, the NHL has employed four teams that did not qualify for the playoffs to bumper up its postseason to sixteen teams.
These “play-in” qualifying rounds were expanded in 2020 to include twenty-four teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic postponing both the end of regular season games and the start of the playoffs. If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the standard tiebreaker system is used. After normal operations resume, sixteen teams will qualify for the playoffs:
the top twelve teams in each conference by points percentage and then the next two best teams by points percentage, regardless of conference affiliation. If there is a tie for points percentage between three or more clubs, they are ordered by Fewest Games Played (with any remaining ties broken by goal differential). The four remaining clubs not qualifying for byes play each other in best-of-five “play-in” series.”
How the NHL Stanley Cup Final works
The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy of the NHL, awarded to the team that wins the annual Stanley Cup Finals.
The playoffs are a best-of-seven tournament held after the conclusion of the regular season to determine the Stanley Cup champions. The Conference champions (the team with the best record in each conference) receive a bye to the final round of the playoffs. The two division winners in each conference also play each other in the first round of the playoffs. The four remaining teams in each conference play each other in the first round of the playoffs, with the winner advancing to play one of the division winners.
In order for a team to win the Stanley Cup, they must first win their respective conference championship, then win four rounds of best-of-seven series in order to make it to, and finally win, the Stanley Cup Finals.