A New York Rangers hockey season will begin soon. On Sunday, the NHL announced it will play a 56-game season starting Jan. 13, 2021. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are slated to begin May 8 and last into July.
The league and NHLPA have come to an agreement on key dates and framework for the 2021 season, including scheduling, temporary realignment, and COVID-19 protocols, among the scheduling highlights is that teams will only play other clubs in their division during the regular season.
Game on! NHL hockey back on Jan. 13 https://t.co/uVRBE6H6Vz
— CJAD 800 Montreal (@CJAD800) December 20, 2020
According to the NHL’s press release, the Stanley Cup Playoffs would feature 16 teams in the traditional best-of-seven, four-round format and conclude around mid-July with the plan of returning to a “normal” hockey calendar for the 2021-22 season (regular season beginning in October). The NHL and NHLPA will release the Health and Safety Protocols, transition rules, and critical dates calendar as well as the 2020-21 schedule in the coming days.
The press release also states that given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHLPA and the NHL intend to be flexible and adaptable in their approach during the coming weeks to ensure compliance with directives from both local and national governmental and health authorities focusing on the health and safety of the players, other game-related personnel and the communities in which we play. The priority will continue to be focused on the health and safety of our fans and Players and Club, League, NHLPA, and arena personnel.
The NHL is going with a division realignment that includes a seven-team Canadian division, which still requires approval from local health officials for the games to be held north of the border.
East: Boston-Buffalo-New Jersey-NY Islanders-NY Rangers-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh-Washington
Central: Carolina-Chicago-Columbus-Detroit-Florida-Dallas-Nashville-Tampa Bay
West: Anaheim-Arizona-Colorado-Minnesota-Los Angeles-Las Vegas-San Jose-St. Louis
Each team in the East, Central, and West divisions will play every other team in its division eight times, while each team in the North Division will square off nine or 10 times. The top four teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs.