After plenty of back-and-forth, it’s now as official as it can be: the NHL will be back in action on January 13, 2021.
The league sent out a press release this afternoon announcing that the NHL and the NHLPA approved the 56 game 2021 slate, with the season to begin on January 13.
The league will be sticking with the rumored realigned division, with play focused amongst those four divisions.
For the Bruins, that means we’ll be seeing plenty of the following teams: Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals.
The Bruins will each of those seven division opponents eight times, meaning there will be no games played outside the division.
For the playoffs, things are tweaked slightly as well: the top four teams in each division will make the playoffs, and the playoffs will remain divisional until the Conference Finals.
Once we reach the Conference Finals, teams will be seeded based on their regular-season points total.
If nothing else, this set-up is going to make for some very interesting rivalries!
As it stands now, training camp for the Bruins will begin on January 3, which is two weeks from today. Last season’s non-playoff teams will be allowed to start camp on December 31.
Given the short lead-up here, the league is scrapping the preseason entirely...hopefully these guys stayed in shape.
Expect a schedule to be released in the coming days.