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While the regular season was largely completed, we had a number of teams that were on the bubble, and you know we have extraordinary competitive balance (in the NHL) and any of those teams that were on the bubble outside of the top 16 in each conference had a legitimate chance of making the playoffs, some more than others. And we decided we needed a play-in round to give those teams a chance to ultimately make the playoffs, and that's going to be a best-of-five series.
If there's one positive test — again, this will be under the strict guidance of the medical people — that person will be isolated, and we'll be monitoring anybody, through contact tracing, that was in close proximity. Obviously, for any sport, if you have a major outbreak, it's going to change everything, but we're being told that an isolated case or a couple of isolated cases shouldn't interfere with the plans, and we should be able to move forward.
While we are hopeful, it is our goal that we will be able to resume play and award the Stanley Cup. We intend to do so within in a timeframe that will enable us to get back to a full calendar for the 2020-21 season, at the same time we remain focused on the safety of our players, coaches, support staff and arena personnel. We will not set dates, chose sites or begin to play until we know it is appropriate and prudent and we are approved to do so.
It's not a coincidence that the last decade-plus we haven't had a World Cup because we haven't had anybody to deal with on a long-term stable basis at the union to make decisions that had to be made to do an international tournament, the fact that we're now in a situation where there's a strong union, which I believe is important and a good thing, we can pursue mutual goals and objectives to build the game.
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