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Report: NHL looking at four-division realignment with one all-Canadian division

The NHL is looking to get creative as it starts up its new season. We break down the division realignment being considered.

A graphic view of in-ice logos prior to the game between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on September 19, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL is figuring out plans for its 2021 season, and a start date and divisional realignment could be coming into focus. The league is hoping to start the season on January 13th. Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said that date was the goal, but that is likely the most optimistic goal given the uncertainty.

The Covid-19 pandemic is requiring sports leagues get creative in how they protect their players, coaches, and staffs. The NHL used a bubble for its 2020 playoff, and is now looking at a realignment of divisions to limit travel. Canadian regulations prevent American teams from traveling north of the border, so any realignment would be predicated in part on having a division made of only Canadian teams. Pierre LeBrun reported the following divisions is the current plan.

Division 1

Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Washington Capitals

Division 2

Carolina Hurricanes
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Chicago Blackhawks
Florida Panthers
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
Tampa Bay Lightning

Division 3

Anaheim Ducks
Arizona Coyotes
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues
Vegas Golden Knights

Division 4

Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Winnipeg Jets