Now it really seems clear that we will get an NHL season in 2021.
After setting up the framework for a return-to-play including realigned divisions and a mid-January start date, the league and its players union reportedly agreed to tentatively start play on Jan. 13 with 26 less games than usual.
The final hurdle is approval from health officials in all five Canadian provinces.
In preparation for differing international travel laws, the league made it clear early on in the return-to-play process that all seven Candaian teams would play in a separate division. The league already tweaked the original reports of the re-aligned divisions, with the latest version below:
Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey, NYI, NYR, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay
Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota, San Jose, St. Louis, Vegas
According to the proposal, the regular season would tentatively end May 8, with the Stanley Cup would be awarded the first week of July- even though that date isn’t set in stone, according to ESPN.
Each team will be able to carry a four-to-six-player taxi squad in addition to the regular 23-man roster. These changes take place after the league’s players agreed to defer 10% of their 2020-21 salaries in an effort to ease the financial burden on the league’s owners.
Even with the encouraging news, there’s still no indication as to when regular season schedules could be finalized as the Dallas Stars look to defend their 2020 Western Conference title.
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