With little else to talk about in the world of hockey except a tenuous return to play on January 13, the league is now tasked with pulling this off as safely and as reasonably as possible - which ushers in a restructuring of how the divisions are, well, divided.
Here’s what the Twittersphere is saying on the matter:
From an NHL team exec this monrning, FWIW: "NHL is season is starting Jan 13th. Confirmed last night. We are going to be playing 56 games."— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 8, 2020
Okay, cool. Fifty-six games, I’ll take it. That’s a good start.
NHL teams are preparing at the moment to start the 2020-21 campaign in their own buildings. Governors will get more of an update on the league conference call this afternoon but that's certainly the sense right now. #Sens #NHL #Oilers #Flames #Canucks #Jets #Leafs #Habs— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) December 9, 2020
Hate to break this news, but to actually end a season that is started, teams are going to have to leave their own buildings. So now, let’s talk restructuring the divisions to make travel and geography make a little sense.
Not finalized yet, and still subject to change, but the 2020-21 four-division re-alignment currently looks like this according to sources:— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 9, 2020
I like this! See ya, Pittsburgh! Hello, Detroit. St. Louis in the Pacific division is a little weird, but I suspect some shuffling will occur when we welcome Seattle to the mix. Maybe resulting in Buffalo up to the Canada division? Someone remember that I said that.
Here’s some perfectly clear logic about having an all-Canadian division:
Anthony LeBlanc says a Canadian division is likely a must in NHL because "nobody knows when the border is going to be open." He says an all-Canadian division is being explored in the AHL as well. #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) December 9, 2020
Here’s some more context as to why divisions are shaking out this way:
Regarding St. Louis being in NHL Western Div. and Minnesota being in the Central:— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 9, 2020
Heard the Wild didn't want to travel/play out West vs. remaining in Central. Blues and broadcast partner actually preferred that travel and those start times. So they're seeded West.
What do y’all think? I am human, therefore resistant to change, but sports news in 2020 has been so dull that I am welcoming a paradigm shift in the structure of the league. I also think a lot of these changes make sense, given the constraints and realities of trying to play sports in a raging, uncontrolled pandemic. Sound off in the comments - what makes sense and what would you like to see change?