Hockey East will change its playoff format beginning in the 2013-14 season by expanding to allow all conference teams into the postseason tournament, according to a report from CollegeHockeyNews.com.
Currently, eight of the conference's 10 teams qualify for the postseason tournament. With Notre Dame set to join the conference in the 2013-14 season, the Hockey East Tournament will expand to include all 11 teams in the conference. When Connecticut joins the conference for the 2014-15 season, all 12 teams will play in the tournament.
Hockey East is the only conference that does not currently include all teams in its postseason tournament. The conference will eliminate the final week of the regular season to accommodate the expanded tournament. During the 2014 tournament, the top five teams will receive first-round byes with the remaining six playing to advance to the quarterfinals. The following year, when the conference expands to 12 teams, the top four seeds will receive first-round byes.
It's yet to be determined whether or not the first round games will be single-elimination or a best-of-three series.