The Robertson Cup is awarded to the national playoff champion of the NAHL. The oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States, the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL and youth hockey in the state of Michigan. Chuck Robertson was the owner of the Paddock Pools Saints when they won a record seven straight NAHL championships from 1976-83.
Qualification for the Robertson Cup Playoffs is as follows: Clubs are seeded within the four divisions based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings, with the top four teams in each division qualifying for the playoffs. If necessary, the tie-breaking policy adopted in the NAHL Rules and Regulations will be applied to determine the final order of finish.
At the conclusion of the NAHL regular season, Clubs that have an equal amount of points shall have their final position in the NAHL standings determined by applying the following tie breaking procedures until the tie is broken:
- Most wins during the regular season.
- Head to head competition during the regular season.
- Goal differential in head to head competition during the regular season.
- Total goal differential during the regular season.
- Coin flip.
Division Semifinals (Best of 5)
Clubs are seeded within their own division based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings. The Club seeded first in each division will compete in a best- of-five series with the fourth seeded Club in the same division. The Club seeded second in each division will compete in a best-of-five-series against the Club seeded third in the same division. Round 1 of the playoffs may begin no earlier than Thursday, April 13th, 2017 and must conclude no later than Monday, April 24, 2017. Clubs shall cooperate to schedule division semifinal series competition with the highest seed club hosting up to three games. The first Club to win three games in a divisional semifinal series will be declared the winner of the series and advance to the next round of playoff competition. The first Club to lose three games in a divisional semifinal series shall be eliminated from further playoff competition.
Division Finals (Best of 5)
The two Clubs in each division that won a division semifinal series shall compete in a best-of-five series against each other. The division finals may begin no earlier than Thursday, April 27, 2017 and conclude no later than Sunday May 7, 2017. The higher seeded Club will have the right to host up to three games. The first Club to win three games in a division final series will be declared the winner of the series and advance to the Robertson Cup Finals. The first Club to lose three games in a division final series will be eliminated from further playoff competition.
NAHL Robertson Cup Finals
The four divisional playoff champions will advance to the Robertson Cup Championship in Duluth, Minnesota. Clubs will be seeded 1-4 based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings. The game schedule will be as follows: The #1 Seed will face the #4 seed in a best of three series. The #2 seed will face the #3 seed in a best of three series. The two series winners will advance on to a one game playoff to determine the Robertson Cup Champion.
- Thu, May 11 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3
- Fri, May 12 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3
- Sat, May 13 1 vs 4 (if necessary) and 2 vs 3 (if necessary)
- Sun, May 14 National Championship Game
During the Robertson Cup playoffs, if the score is tied after three periods of play the following shall take place:
- Teams shall return to their dressing room and the ice shall be resurfaced. A fifteen-minute intermission shall take place.
- A twenty-minute, sudden death, overtime period shall be played with 5 skaters a side.
- The game shall terminate upon a goal being scored and the Club scoring declared the winner. If no goal is scored, the same procedure as above shall be repeated until a winner has been determined.