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[Report] NHL Might Realign Divisions Next Season, Incl. Canadian Division

As per Elliotte Friedman, the NHL is talking realigning the divisions to have regional teams play each other, including a Canadian division.


Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman appeared on Writers Bloc and discussed solutions the NHL might be trying to come up with for next season’s schedule. Saying the NHL is tossing around a few different ideas, one of the topics being discussed is the idea that the league could restructure or realign the divisions for travel purposes.

Friedman admits it clearly isn’t something the NHL wants to do, but the idea of a Canadian only Division in the NHL has been discussed. The assumption here is that it would eliminate the need for players to cross the border. Essentially, the Canadian teams would only play each other and this wouldn’t be the only change.

NHL COVID-19 Tests
NHL COVID-19 Tests

Friedman also adds that the American teams playing regionally is being considered, which means breaking down the divisions into the Northeast Division, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest, and a Midwest Division. (this structure was tossed out as an idea by Friedman, not necessarily what the NHL is considering.)

As for how games might be schedule, Friedman believes the teams may travel and play back-to-backs in one city, go to the next city, play a back-to-back games there, then head back home for a final set of back-to-back games.

NHL Players Do Not Want Bubble Games

Apparently, one of the big issues for NHL players is the idea that the NHL might be forced into more bubble games. The league is closely following what the NFL is doing, but there’s one big difference that needs to be taken into account — NFL games are outdoors. The NHL doesn’t have that luxury.

Friedman hinted that the league is concerned about the schedule and games, saying, “I don’t think teams want to play next year until there is some sort of path towards attendance. I don’t think players want bubbles again, I don’t think they want any part of it.”

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