NHL Reportedly Eyes Unique 2021 Divisions

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The NHL 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were fascinating, and included a bubble in both Edmonton, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario. In this, more teams played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs than ever before and it was won by the Tampa Bay Lightning, for their first championship since 2004, as the core of Nikita Kucherov (pictured), Brayden Point, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn dominated the competition to finally receive their ring.

It seems as though the NHL will continue bubble action into the 2021 season as the COVID-19 Pandemic has not died down as of yet. Greg Wyshynski of ESPN is floating around the league’s plan that isn’t set in stone yet, but close to being finalized.

The usual divisions of the Eastern Conference are the Atlantic and Metropolitan. The latter consists of the New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins. The former includes the defending champions Tampa Bay Lightning, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators.

Over in the Western Conference, the Pacific Division includes The Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers. In the Central Division, it involves the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators.

Of course, with the league’s COVID protocols, realignment is a given. The realignment suggested is fascinating. One division would be a Canada division, consisting of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens. Next would be the West: San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche. Third would be the Central: Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets. The fourth and final division is the East: New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes.

What are your thoughts on the realignment?

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