As the National Hockey League plans for a return to play, the league has revealed the first-round schedule for our Minnesota Wild. The NHL paused play back on March 12th due to the coronavirus outbreak.

All games will be played in two hub cities, both north of the border in Canada; Edmonton and Toronto. The Wild will be in Edmonton.

Each of the two conferences will have eight 'qualifier' teams, and four 'bye' teams in the quest for the 2020 Stanley Cup trophy. In the Western Conference, the Minnesota Wild are  one of the eight 'qualifiers,' along with Vancouver, Edmonton, Chicago, Nashville, Calgary, Arizona, and Winnipeg. The four teams in the conference getting the early byes are Colorado, Las Vegas, Dallas, and St. Louis getting the early byes.

The placement of all 24 teams is based on total points at the time the season was paused in March.

The four 'bye' teams will play each other to determine 1-4 conference seeding. The other eight teams will be playing to win their way into the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- all without fans in the arenas.

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In the Eastern Conference, the four 'bye' teams are Philadelphia, Boston, Tampa Bay, and Washington. The eight Eastern 'qualifiers' are the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Carolina, Columbus, Florida, and Toronto.

Seven of the league's teams have seen their season come to an end, with their points total falling below the 24 team threshold. Those teams are Detroit, New Jersey, Los Angeles, San Jose, Ottawa, Anaheim, and Buffalo.

Minnesota's 1st Round Best-of-Five Schedule

  • GAME 1: Sunday, August 2 vs. Vancouver Canucks (9:30 PM CT)
  • GAME 2: Tuesday, August 4 vs. Vancouver Canucks (9:45 PM CT)
  • GAME 3: Thursday, August 6 vs. Vancouver Canucks (TBA)
  • GAME 4 (if necessary): Friday, August 7 vs. Vancouver Canucks (TBA)
  • GAME 5 (if necessary): Sunday, August 9 vs. Vancouver Canucks (TBA)

Let's Play Hockey (in August)!

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.