The NHL is taking a major step toward formulating the remainder of their season.

A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press the NHL Players’ Association’s executive board is voting on a 24-team playoff proposal as they return to play format. Results of the vote could be in as soon as tonight.

Under the proposal plan, the top four teams in each of the Eastern and Western Conferences would play each other for seeding while the remaining 16 teams face off in a best-of-five series play-in round to set the final 16. That would mean byes for Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia in the East and defending champion St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas in West.

Even if the executive board votes to approve the format, the league and players union still need to negotiate other details, including health and safety protocols. But the format is a substantial piece of the return to play puzzle to award the Stanley Cup this season.

IndyCar has altered its schedule again amid the coronavirus pandemic, cancelling the June 27 race at Richmond and the July 12 street course event in Toronto. The open-wheel series is slated to finally begin June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, but its next event won’t be held until July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race scheduled for June 21 at Road America in Wisconsin has been changed to a doubleheader on July 11-12.

Tokyo Olympic organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto spoke Thursday about the need to take “countermeasures” to combat the coronavirus at next year’s postponed games. Muto acknowledged in an online news conference that “there are some in Japan” talking about holding the games without fans. Muto did not say this was going to happen.

English soccer club Manchester United says it believes it will miss out on $24 million because the Premier League will have to make refunds to broadcasters even if the season is completed. The league is in talks with its rights holders about rebates because of delays and changes to the broadcasting schedule. Empty stadiums will also change the TV product. The rebates will vary based on the final position in the standings and the number of games aired live.

The Major League Baseball Players Association has given management a wide-ranging response to a 67-page proposed set of protocols for a season to be played during the coronavirus pandemic.

The union says it addressed protections for high-risk players, access to pre- and postgame therapies, testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, in-stadium medical personnel and sanitization procedures.

Players viewed many of the concepts in the original draft submitted last week as over-the-top, such as arriving in uniform at the ballparks, a prohibition on them leaving without team permission and a ban on guests other than immediate family members.

Players also objected to a ban on the use of showers and hydrotherapy.

The union wants more frequent testing than management’s proposed “multiple times per week.”

MLB is expected to make an economic proposal to the union within a few days.

Tom Brady’s journey to each of his nine Super Bowls with the New England Patriots will be the subject of an ESPN series released in 2021. Titled “The Man in the Arena: Tom Brady,” the nine-episode series will include a look from Brady’s perspective at his six NFL titles and three Super Bowl defeats.

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