NHL teams in Canada should be able to play in their arena

It looks like the seven Canadian NHL teams will be able to start the 2020-21 season by playing their home games in their arena, NHL Assistant Commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday.

« Based on the discussions of the last week, as well as our exchanges of the last 24 hours, we believe to be in agreement on the conditions under which all the Canadian teams will be able to begin the season 2020-2021 in their home », explained Daly.

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The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association worked together with the provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec to come to an agreement that would dispel the public health concerns. In particular, it was necessary to determine how the presentation of the games and the way in which the teams would travel between the seven Canadian cities of the NHL would have an impact on the rules in place for the general public to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The NHL season kicks off on January 13 with five games on the calendar, including duels between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers, as well as between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The seven teams located in Canada, the Calgary Flames, Oilers, Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Maple Leafs, Canucks and Winnipeg Jets, will make up the North section. The NHL released a 56-game schedule on Wednesday, which only involves matches between teams from the same section.

The North section is one of four new sections as part of the reorganization for the 2020-21 season.

The Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals will form the Eastern Section.

The Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning will cross swords in the Central section.

The Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights will be grouped together in the West section.

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