NHL plans to have Canadian teams play in home venues
The NHL anticipates that the league's Canadian teams will be able to play in their homeland at the start of the season on January 13th.
"Based on our conversations (with provincial health authorities) over the past week, as well as our correspondence exchanges over the past 24 hours, we believe we are prepared for the conditions under which any of our Canadian franchises can operate The 2020-21 NHL season starts playing in their own buildings, "NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.
The seven Canadian teams will be divided into the North Division and will only play against each other for the duration of the 56-game schedule, which is scheduled to begin on January 13th.
Toronto will host Montreal while Edmonton will host Vancouver on January 13th. The next day, Winnipeg welcomes Calgary and Edmonton Vancouver for a second straight night, according to the CBC. Ottawa opens in Toronto on January 15th. The next day the same two teams play in the same place.
The teams have been divided into four divisions to minimize travel and the potential of the coronavirus to disrupt the season.
The East Division includes the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabers, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyer, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders.
The Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, and Tampa Bay Lightning are all part of the Central Division.
The Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, and Vegas Golden Knights make up the West Division.
The top four teams in each division make up the playoffs, and the teams do not play outside of their divisions until after the second round of the postseason.
The team with the best seeds would play fourth seed, while the teams ranked second and third would compete against others in the first round. The first round winners would meet to determine a division champion.
- Field level media
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