The NHL anticipates that Canadian league teams will be able to play on their premises when the season begins on January 13.
“Based on our discussions (with provincial health officials) last week, as well as our correspondence in the last 24 hours, we believe that we are aligned and agree on the conditions under which each of our Canadian franchises can start playing in their own buildings for the start of the 2020-21 NHL season, “said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly in a statement.
The seven Canadian teams will be grouped in the Northern Division and play each other only during the 56-game schedule, which is scheduled to start on 13 January.
Toronto will host Montreal, while Edmonton will host Vancouver on January 13. The next day, Winnipeg receives Calgary and Edmonton receives Vancouver for the second night in a row, according to CBC. Ottawa opens on January 15 hosting Toronto, and the same two teams will play at the same location the next day.
The teams were placed in four divisions to minimize travel and the potential for coronavirus to disrupt the season.
The East Division includes the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabers, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers and New York Islanders.
The Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning are in the Central Division.
The Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights make up the West Division.
The top four teams in each division make it to the playoffs, and the teams do not play outside their divisions until after the second round of postseason.
The team with the best placement would play with the fourth seed, while the second and third placed would face another in the first round. The winners of the first round series would meet to determine the division champion.
– Field-level media