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Logan 12-28-2020 11:08 AM

NHL Thread #25: Hockey Is Back! New Season Starts 1.13.21.
Hi :wave:



The NHL and NHL Players' Association announced Sunday an agreement to play a 56-game regular season beginning Jan. 13, 2021. The start of the season has been delayed due to continuing concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Here are key questions and answers about the 2020-21 season:

When will training camps open?

The seven teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season (Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks) will be permitted to open training camps Dec. 31. The 24 teams that participated in the playoffs will begin formal training camps Jan. 3.

Will there be preseason games?

No. Regular-season games will begin Jan. 13 immediately following training camp.

When will the season end?

The regular season is scheduled to end May 8. The playoffs, featuring the traditional four-round, best-of-7 format, are tentatively scheduled to begin May 11 and end no later than July 9 with the plan of returning to a normal hockey calendar for the 2021-22 season.

When will the schedule be announced?

The NHL and NHLPA announced the schedule on Dec. 23.

Where will the games be played, and will fans be permitted to attend?

Because of the unpredictability of the pandemic, the NHL and NHLPA will be flexible with their approach in the coming weeks to comply with local and national governmental and health authorities and ensure the safety of the players, other game-related personnel and the communities where the NHL plays.

The tentative plan is for teams to play games in their home arenas with the understanding that most arenas will not be permitted to admit fans, at least initially. There will be designated seating areas for players families in the arena if permitted by local regulations.

Depending on the conditions in local markets and across North America, the League is prepared to play games at one or more neutral sites per division if necessary.

Will there be temporary realignment?

Yes. For the 2020-21 season, the teams will be realigned into four new divisions, and play will be limited to intradivisional games because of travel restrictions in the United States and Canada.

The North Division will include the seven teams based in Canada: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.

The 24 teams based in the United States will be divided into three divisions of eight teams:

East Division: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals

Central Division: Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning.

West Division: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights.

Each team in the East, Central and West divisions will play every other team in its division eight times, and each team in the North Division will play every other team in its division nine or 10 times.

What will be the playoff format be?

The top four teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs. The first two rounds of the playoffs will be intradivisional, with the first-place team facing the fourth-place team and the second-place team playing the third-place team in the first round.

The four teams that advance to the Semifinal Round will be seeded by their point total in the regular season, with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 4 seed in one series and the No. 2 seed facing the No. 3 seed in the other.

Will rosters be expanded?

For training camp, teams can invite up to 36 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies.

During the regular season, the NHL roster limit will remain 23 players with a salary cap of $81.5 million. Each team will also have a taxi squad of 4-6 players that can practice and travel with the players on the NHL roster. Any team not carrying three goalies on its NHL roster must have at least one goalie on its taxi squad.

To be eligible to play in an NHL game, a player on the taxi squad must be recalled to the active roster by 5 p.m. ET on the date of the game. Goalies can be recalled after 5 p.m. ET if fewer than two goalies on the team's NHL roster are available to play.

Players required to clear waivers to be assigned to the American Hockey League also require waivers to be assigned to the taxi squad. Players assigned to the taxi squad will receive the salary they'd receive playing in the AHL and the impact on the team's salary cap will be the same as if the player is in the AHL.

How often will players, coaches and staff be tested for COVID-19?

They will be tested daily throughout training camp and the first four weeks of the regular season. The NHL and NHLPA will reevaluate after that, consulting with medical personnel and infectious disease specialist and the data on positive tests, to determine if testing should shift to every other day.

During training camp, the NHL will announce League-wide results of testing without naming individuals with a confirmed positive test. During the regular season, the names of players with confirmed positive tests will be made public.

Those with a confirmed positive test will follow isolation guidelines consistent with local public health regulations. Players must also be cleared by a cardiologist and team physician before returning to play.

Teammates identified as a close contact to a player with a confirmed positive test won't be required to quarantine if they test negative and remain asymptomatic.

What are some of the basic health and safety protocols teams will have to follow?

While in their home cities, players, coaches and staff should stay home when possible and not engage in unnecessary interactions with non-family members. Players, coaches and staff should diligently wear face coverings and following social distancing guidelines inside and outside team facilities.

Coaches are required to wear a face covering at all times, including on the bench, except when engaging in physical exertion on the ice and when eating and/or drinking.

The complete health and safety protocols can be read here.

What protocols will teams have to follow while traveling?

All teams will travel on charter flights with assigned seats on planes and buses. While on the road, players, coaches and staff will be limited to the designated team hotel for that city, the game arena and practice rink. They cannot patronize restaurants, bars or shops outside those at the designated hotel.

Players, coaches and staff will not be permitted to use the hotel gym, have guests in their hotel rooms or have their rooms serviced by housekeeping during their visit.

Visiting teams cannot practice in other facilities owned or operated by third parties. Practices will not be open to the public.

Can players opt out of the season?

Yes, a player can choose not to play this season without discipline or penalty. Players from the seven teams that didn't qualify for the playoffs last season have until 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 24 to notify their respective teams if they choose to opt out. Players from teams that participated in the playoffs have until 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 27 to submit notification.

NikNak 12-30-2020 07:56 PM

Thanks for the new thread. :)

canflam 12-30-2020 09:43 PM

Yes. Thanks. Curious to see the Seattle Kraken play. They are the closest N.H.L. franchise to here. Of course the Canucks & Maple Leafs I'm excited to watch play again. Any players or teams that you all are excited to see in action?

NikNak 12-31-2020 08:05 PM

I do not watch hockey on TV at all.

I have been to a few live games which were entertaining and exciting.

Logan 01-01-2021 10:16 AM

NHL Announced outdoor games at Lake Tahoe

NikNak 01-03-2021 04:39 PM

Thanks for the tweet.

Logan 01-14-2021 09:08 AM

NHL started started last night . The defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay lightning raised their Stanley Cup championship banner at home minus fans.

canflam 01-14-2021 09:32 AM

The Canucks were great on offence yesterday vs. Edmonton. Great to see hockey being played again.

Logan 01-14-2021 10:56 AM

Rest of the League has there first games today. My home team Boston Bruins start tonight

stlavin95 01-17-2021 02:31 PM

Thanks for that

NikNak 01-25-2021 09:06 PM

Thanks for the tweet.

canflam 01-25-2021 10:35 PM

The Canucks are going to win today vs. Ottawa.:)

Logan 01-27-2021 12:16 PM

Bruins with a nice OT win over Pittsburgh last night.
Speaking of Pittsburgh Penguins, they had a sudden change in there front office .

Logan 02-05-2021 08:56 AM

NHL early in the season ,is running into the same problems the NFL and major-league baseball hat. Covid 19 outbreaks . Causing games to be rescheduled.
NHL is changing The protocols.

Logan 02-15-2021 05:18 PM

So glad to have hockey back on television. This being one sport that close contact fights are part of the game . Strange to see teams like Montreal Toronto leave the NHL being that they’re only playing Canadian teams.

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