2021 NHL Season Update

Vincent Cavaniola, Sportswriter

The NHL is targeting a January 13 start date for the 2020-2021 season, and some changes will be made. This will be a 56 game season, which is 26 games less than what teams usually play each season, but it’s better than nothing. Training camp will begin January 3rd for all 31 NHL teams. There is some confusion with this plan because they want to change the divisions to prevent long distance traveling as much as possible. Here are the divisions for the 2021 season:

 Canadian Division: Canadiens, Canucks, Flames, Jets, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Senators. 

Metropolitan Division: Bruins, Sabres, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, Capitals. 

Central Division: Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Panthers, Wild, Predators, Lightning. 

Pacific Division: Ducks, Coyotes, Avalanche, Stars, Kings, Sharks, Blues, Golden Knights

Some changes to the divisions could be made within the coming days or weeks. The schedules haven’t released for teams yet, so we will have to wait and see how the NHL handles that. 

There is a rumor buzzing around the league saying all Canadian NHL teams may have to play in America due to the Canadian government not allowing them to play in their home arenas in Canada. This might affect the plan of having an all-Canadian team division for the 2021 season. The Canadian government doesn’t want teams from America coming in and out of Canada. The Toronto Blue Jays (MLB team) was forced to play their home games this past season in Buffalo, and the Toronto Raptors (NBA team) are being forced to play in Tampa Bay this upcoming season. Some Canadian health authorities might also not let any team play in Canada, even if all Canadian teams just play each other all season. 

There isn’t really much information as of now about the 2021 NHL season. The New York Islanders are preparing to have another successful season as they are coming off an Eastern Conference loss this past season. They were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 6 game series and the Lightning went on to win the 2020 Stanley Cup. If the divisions remain the same, the Islanders will arguably be in the toughest division out of the 4. The Metropolitan contains many playoff caliber teams, which is not a good thing for the Islanders. Hopefully there will be more information sooner than later on the 2021 NHL season. I am personally extremely excited for this. new season and hope you are too.