Originally Posted by horrorfan
I think the fairest way to determine the order is for the tournament to decide it entirely. I don't think they'd agree to having to play a bunch of games just to find out that the regular season standings will still end up deciding your position if you're not amongst the top 3/4 in the tournament. Also, to ensure equal opportunity, you'd probably have to do a full round robin, which would be 13 games. You can't have some teams not playing others, which would ensure that the winner doesn't properly earn it. And then a playoff? It seems like a lot of games to be played, and considering at what stage of the tournament will the majority of teams be out of the running already, so will they want to play any more games?
Well teams also play a full 82-game season only to have playoffs decide the winner.
But in any case, you'd simply set it up playoff style so the best two non-playoff teams get first round byes and then the math adds up to a full elimination tournament with two teams in the finals at the end. It could be one game, two game or three game series' depending on what you favour.