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Toronto Maple Leafs are still in the hunt for Stanley Cup as NHL unveils 2020 playoffs

After uncertainty around whether or not the NHL will continue its regular season this year, it's been announced that the Toronto Maple Leafs are headed straight to a qualifying round for the 2020 playoffs.

After more than two months of putting hockey games on pause thanks to the global pandemic, the league has announced a Return To Play Plan that will see 24 teams, including the Leafs, vying for the Stanley Cup. 

People are ecstatic that the Leafs will get a chance to get their hands on the Cup, though under normal, pandemic-free circumstances would have been more ideal. 

That means the remaining games of the regular season, which the NHL suspended on March 12, will not be played. The season is officially over for Ottawa and a handful of other teams.

Instead, we'll be seeing a modified version of the playoffs starting sometime after June with Seeding Round Robins, a Qualifying Round, and Conference-based Stanley Cup Playoffs with the 12 top-ranking teams from each conference. 

They'll take place in two "hub" cities, with 10 options including Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and — yes, just maybe — Toronto. 

Right now, the Leafs sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, with a Best-of-5 Qualifying Round againts the Columbus Blue Jackets forecast for sometime in the future. 

There's no determined timeline as to when and if the games will begin, though June and July will finally see hockey teams heading back home for on- and off-ice training, pending what health officials say. 

Lead photo by

Maple Leafs


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