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Canadian Teams Could Have to Play 2020-21 NHL Season in the U.S.

Talk on Thursday is that the seven Canadian NHL teams were told all teams will play out of the U.S. for the 2021 season.

Gary Bettman NHL

All seven Canadian NHL teams were apparently informed today of the possibility each would have to play their entire 2020-21 NHL season south of the border and in the United States. The notice came during a conference call Thursday with the league and the news is drawing a ton of attention and chatter.

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It is expected more news will be revealed, but TSN’s Frank Seravalli notes, the NHL potentially feels like they might have no choice but to move all seven Canadian clubs to the U.S. for the 2020-21 season if agreements can’t be reached with provincial health authorities. Seravalli reports that provincial authorities have not signed off and that all sports teams need to follow the guidelines of their respective health authorities. No exceptions are being made.

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that if the seven Canadian teams do have to move their operations to the U.S., there would likely no longer be a need for an All-Canadian division, and more realignment would be required.

This is certainly not set in stone and the other options are that games could play in hub cities. The NHL remains optimistic they can sort all of this out before they have to move the Canadian clubs. LeBrun adds the fact that this news is out there may put a little pressure on Canadian government authorities.

NHL COVID-19 Tests
NHL COVID-19 Tests

Where and How Many Games Would These Teams Play?

It’s probably too early to determine where these Canadian teams would be located if they were, in fact, moved. Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Columbus and four cities located close together with arenas that have the ability to hold teams but, really, that’s just spit-balling at this point.

There’s also no telling how this would affect the potential number of games the teams could play with less travel. Could they get in more than 56 games?

There’s obviously a lot now to talk about as this news unfolds.

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