PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hockey took a step in the right direction toward returning this year.

On Friday, the NHLPA Executive Board advanced negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return-to-play format.

The NHLPA today released the following statement:

“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. 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.​”

The Penguins voted “yes” to the 24-team playoff proposal to resume the 2019-20 season, according to Sportsnet.

“At the end of the day, nobody gets exactly what they want,” Penguins NHLPA representative Kris Letang told Sportsnet. “But we all want what is best for hockey and to continue to grow the game.”

Under the proposed plan, the top four teams in each conference would receive a bye. The next eight teams in each conference, based on points percentage, would then match up.

The Penguins would play the Montreal Canadiens in the 24-team proposal.

Nothing is finalized, but it a step for hockey to return.

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