DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 10: Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal against the Dallas Stars during the first period at American Airlines Center on March 10, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The NHL and NHLPA are finalizing the details of a 24-team playoff and that means the New York Rangers are going back to the postseason.

The New York Rangers will be heading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017. This news comes following an announcement that the NHLPA approved the league’s return to play.

There are still some details that need to be ironed out, but this a major step toward a restart of play.

“The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup,” the NHLPA said in a statement. “Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play.​”

Things continue to be fluid at the time of the NHLPA’s announcement, but it looks like there is still plenty of work to do before the NHL announces anything firm regarding when they would get back on the ice.

What the teams with byes do during the first round of play-in games is a detail that still appears to be unresolved.

The Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers would secure the top seeds in the Eastern Conference while the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars would do the same in the West. These teams would play games against one another to secure their seedings, but some teams have not been happy with that scenario.

Play In

The best-of-five play-in games, would have the Rangers (11 seed) playing the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round.

The play-in games would look like this:

Eastern Conference

• 5. Pittsburgh vs. 12. Montreal (winner plays four seed)
• 6. Carolina vs. 11. Rangers (winner plays three seed)
• 7. Islanders vs. 10. Florida (winner plays two seed)
• 8. Toronto vs. 9. Columbus (winner plays one seed)

Western Conference

• 5. Edmonton vs. 12. Chicago (winner plays four seed)
• 6. Nashville vs. 11. Arizona (winner plays three seed)
• 7. Vancouver vs. 10. Minnesota (winner plays two seed)
• 8. Calgary vs. 9. Winnipeg (winner plays one seed)

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported that an NHL playoff bracket vs. reseeding is one of the details that still need to be worked out. It appears the players would want the second round of the playoffs to use a reseeding of the teams.

The NHL and NHLPA have done all they can to get to this point. Though more work needs to be done, one thing seems very certain: Hockey is coming back.

Rangerstown will get to see what Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Igor Shesterkin can do to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Great news indeed.

A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com