Bettman: ‘Safety is paramount’ in NHL Return to Play, 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers

Gary Bettman stressed that “safety is paramount” while discussing the NHL Return to Play/2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers with Liam McHugh.

In the lengthy segment you can watch above, Bettman also sheds some light on the process. He explains that the NHL discussed some best-of-five series for the opening round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs (after the field of 24 in the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers shrinks to the typical 16), but the players wanted best-of-seven series.

While Bettman seems optimistic about the bubble covering the safety bases during the NHL Return to Play, he also warns that players and others shouldn’t “take anything for granted” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHT’s 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifier previews
• Eastern Conference top seed round-robin preview
• Penguins vs. Canadiens
• Rangers vs. Hurricanes
• Islanders vs. Panthers
• Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets

• Western Conference top seed round-robin preview
• Jets vs. Flames
• Oilers vs. Blackhawks
• Predators vs. Coyotes
• Wild vs. Canucks

• NHL Power Rankings: Stanley Cup-less veterans to root for
• 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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