COVID-19 truly has thrown a wrench in everyone’s life. And the NHL is only one of its victims. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Top NHL Insiders are filling us in and keeping the dream of seeing NHL hockey alive and well. Just recently, we were told about what the 2021 divisions realignment, which confirmed reports that there would be an all-Canadian division. We also know what the American divisions will most likely look like. Further, Insiders provided fans with tentative dates for training camps and even the 2021 regular season openers…
One of the top NHL Insiders, Darren Dreger of TSN, tweeted this morning that the NHL and its players’ association (NHLPA) are in the process of ironing the final details which would allow the 2021 season to finally start.
Dreger talks about the 2020-21 season but realistically, it will be the 2021 season. Old habits, I guess. Still, this is very exciting for everyone around hockey. Many, myself included, question the timing as COVID-19 pandemic is at its worst levels everywhere in North America, with Canada in a mandatory red zone for the Christmas holidays, going as far as preventing us from seeing our family. Our hearts want hockey, our heads know that it makes no sense.
An all-Canadian division
Another top NHL Insider, Pierre LeBrun also from TSN, provided us with a tentative realignment of divisions from what he has heard from NHL executives. And what he has heard is what everyone has been thinking for a while. Due to the borders between Canada and the US being closed, there will be an all-Canadian division. This means that the Canadiens, Senators, Maple Leafs, Jets, Oilers, Flames and Canucks will all be battling for Canadian supremacy. This promises to create tons of excitement from coast to coast in Canada.
Here is how the division will likely be divided, according to LeBrun:
Montreal, Vancouver, St. Louis, Minnesota, Florida and Tampa Bay will be the teams putting on the most mileage. The division with Boston, Buffalo, New York (Rangers), New York (Islanders), New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington could almost drive instead of flying. But hey, geography makes it that way.
So while we wait for an official announcement, we have some fresh and interesting hockey talks. What will be most interesting will be to find out the NHL and NHLPA’s intentions in the event that a team is affected by COVID-19… keeping in mind that Seattle’s Expansion Draft and the NHL doesn’t want to overlap with the 2021 Summer Olympics. Uncertain times, uncertain future, but it seems like we will be getting some hockey coming soon. Go Habs Go!