NHL: Canadian teams able to start season in home arenas
TORONTO (AP) - The NHL believes all seven Canadian teams can start the season in their home stadiums.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday the league believes it is clear to play during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada after talks were held with the five provincial governments NHL teams have to order trying to get approval for January 13th.
"Based on our discussions over the past week and our correspondence over the past 24 hours, we believe we can agree on the terms under which each of our Canadian franchises can play in their own buildings," said Daly.
The NHL realigned its divisions for the season so that the North Division, which includes all seven Canadian teams, doesn't have to cross the U.S.-Canada border, which will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least January 21.
The league released its schedule on Wednesday, with each team playing 56 games instead of the usual 82.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to host the Montreal Canadiens, while the Edmonton Oilers will face the Vancouver Canucks on January 13 in a five-game program on the opening night.
The Winnipeg Jets open against the Calgary Flames on January 14th, while the Oilers and Canucks meet again in Edmonton.
The Ottawa Senators begin their season against Toronto on January 15th, the first of two games in two days between Ontario rivals in the country's capital.
Baseball-style series are rife as the league seeks to cut down on travel. For example, the Canadians and Senators will each play three games in a row in Vancouver in January.
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