AHL to consider expanding playoffs with play-in format

Laval Rocket Jan Mysak skates prior to an AHL hockey game. (Graham Hughes/CP)

The American Hockey League might be ready to take a page out of the NBA's book.

According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the NHL's farm league is considering adopting a play-in format for the post-season as they get ready to welcome the Seattle Kraken's minor-league team into the fold.

"They just think that 16 teams in the playoffs is not enough," Friedman said during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada. "They're considering some ideas, including a play-in."

Set to play out of Palm Springs, Calif., the Kraken's AHL affiliate should have its debut in the 2022-23 season, and will become the 32nd team of the league.

In the current AHL format, all top-four teams of the league's four divisions get awarded a spot in the post-season.

A play-in tournament in the AHL may raise questions about the future of playoff formats in the NHL as well.

"This is the path, Elliotte, they usually try things out there first," added Sportsnet's Chris Johnston during the segment.

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