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Blackhawks would face Oilers in best-of-5 series in latest 24-team return-to-play scenario, per report

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Chicago was 2-1 this season against Edmonton.

NHL: JAN 07 Oilers at Blackhawks Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Blackhawks could face the Oilers in a 24-team conference-based return-to-play setup, according to a report from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The discussed format will need to be approved by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association to move forward.

Friedman notes the top four seeds (based on points percentage) in the Eastern and Western Conferences would receive byes through a play-in round, but play in a three-game tournament.

In this scenario, the Blackhawks would be the No. 12 seed and face the No. 5 Oilers with the winner advancing to play the No. 4 Stars in the first round. The Blackhawks were 2-1 this season against the Oilers with a 3-1 win Oct. 14 and 4-3 victory March 5, both in Chicago. The Oilers defeated the Blackhawks 5-3 on Feb. 11 in Edmonton.

The play-in series would be a best-of-five, while the remainder of the playoffs would be best-of-seven.


No. 1 Blues
No. 2 Avalanche
No. 3 Golden Knights
No. 4 Stars

Play-in series teams

No. 5 Oilers vs. No. 12 Blackhawks
No. 6 Predators vs. No. 11 Coyotes
No. 7 Canucks vs. No. 10 Wild
No. 8 Flames vs. No. 9 Jets


No. 1 Bruins
No. 2 Lightning
No. 3. Capitals
No. 4 Flyers

Play-in series teams

No. 5 Penguins vs. No. 12 Canadiens
No. 6 Hurricanes vs. No. 11 Rangers
No. 7 Islanders vs. No. 10 Panthers
No. 8 Maple Leafs vs. No. 9 Blue Jackets