The 2021 season seems to be right around the corner. Or, so it seems. We’ve all heard the rumors by now: a 56 game season to start on January 13th with separated divisions including a Canadian division. With the NHL Board of Governors meeting later today at noon ET and a GM’s meeting at 2 ET, we just may know the fate of the season by the end of the day Sunday or early this week:
NHL has scheduled a Board of Governors call for noon ET Sunday— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 19, 2020
The NHL, unaware that some of us have fantasy football semifinals tomorrow, has also scheduled a 2 pm ET GMs call for Sunday.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 19, 2020
While all the details of whether teams will be playing in home arenas or in hub cities, if Canadian teams can play in Canada or have to move to the US, and if any fans will be allowed in the stands are all undetermined, the NHL hopefully has a plan to go on with this season successfully. The divisions are not yet set either. The new Pacific Division with the Colorado Avalanche may have a new team put into the division which is great news for Avs fans:
So the new "Pacific" Division is now...— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) December 12, 2020
San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues
Vegas Golden Knights
Or, just wait an hour and it will change again.
The Minnesota Wild would be replacing the Dallas Stars in the newly formed Pacific Division. This leaves the Avalanche in the same division as all the California teams, the Vegas Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes, and St. Louis Blues. With this supposed change of the Wild moving to the Pacific Division, the Avs will be able to beat up on the Wild this season which wasn’t the case before. Avs fans have to be excited to hear this, as any occasion where the Wild and Avalanche face one another is always a spectacle to watch.
However, this is about the fifth time we’ve heard of a different division set-up for the Avs so this is not at all final. This excludes the idea of the Canadian division being added if they had to be moved to the US. Overall, this division is not at all final until we’re officially told by the NHL so we will see who the Avs will play the most this season.
As we all know, the Avalanche have a solid squad right now and they can easily compete for the Stanley Cup without any major injuries such as the ones the squad went under in the bubble playoffs. Nathan MacKinnon has taken this in stride, stating the Avs expectations for this upcoming season:
"I guess we're the favorites [or] whatever this season. I guess it's a shortened year … but we're excited." -- Colorado forward Nathan MacKinnonhttps://t.co/C44KX1yltJ— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) December 19, 2020
MacKinnon knows the pressure is on to perform and show up come playoff time. For two straight years, the Avs have come one goal away from the Conference Finals, including a blown lead with 3 minutes left to play last year. While MacKinnon can put the whole team on his back at points, the squad must come together and all perform at the top of their game if they want to be contenders and move past second round eliminations in the playoffs. With his quote of “we’re the favorites or whatever,” we’ve seen some great Twitter bios come from this:
Finally, to end on some more somber news, USA Hockey lost legend Art Berglund who brought home countless medals to USA Hockey in the Olympics and WJC’s. He was 80 years old, and thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Regardless, happy Sunday everyone! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, stay safe, and enjoy the holidays!