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With the border between the United States and Canada closed indefinitely, the NHL will have to temporarily realign the divisions for the 2020-21 season. Teams will almost certainly have to play interdivisional games at least the entire regular season. According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, here are what the divisions currently look like:
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
It appears that each team will play 56 games during the regular season, which would mean each team playing others in their division eight times.
The Washington Capitals went 11-10-2 against opponents in their division for this season in 2019-20, which would equate to a 27-24-5 record in a 56-game season. But of course, each team has made changes over the offseason and this season will be different.
The NHL and NHLPA are targeting to start the regular season on Wednesday, January 13 open training camps on Friday, January 1. The seven teams (Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and Detroit Red Wings) that did not participate in the NHL’s return-to-play plan over the summer are expected to be allowed to open training camps on December 28.
The NHL has expressed the main goal is to return to a normal season in 2021-22 when the Seattle Kraken (the 32nd franchise) are set to debut.
By Harrison Brown