2020-2021 NHL Season


Tony Parro and Jack Macklin, Journalist

There is no doubt that 2020 and 2021 have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. With sports seasons like NBA, NHL, and MLB all being put on pause last March due to the  ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic which was spreading rapidly through the U.S. and  with cases slowly starting to decrease, the world is slowly returning back to normal.  However, there is still one big question: Will there be an NHL season?


On March 12th, 2020 the NHL released a statement regarding the season.  League commissioner Garry Bettman release this statement, “In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-20 season beginning with tonight’s games.”  Hearing this big news was a shock to the entire hockey community.  The choice to cancel the season came after the news of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert receiving a positive test for COVID-19.  The NHL would then announce the start of the “Bubble” which held the remaining playoff teams in a concealed safe playing environment to finish the season.  


Of course after the end of season there were many questions regarding next season. On January 3, 2021 the NHL season was set to begin with training camps.  With no pre-season, teams had to think fast to prepare for the upcoming games which started on January 13th. The league had planned to play a total of 868 games over the course of 116 days.  With daily testing and much more, the teams, staff, and players have to follow many protocols to keep them all safe.I feel that the NHL has so far done a good job with handling the season.  They’ve done a lot of good things to handle the spread within the league,¨ said Joe Parro. 


With the new rules of the season came the new divisions set in place to keep players as safe as possible. One big problem was the Canadian teams.  With the United States and Canada having a travel ban set in place Canadian teams can only play each other. The four new divisions consists of this,


  *North: Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks (All Canadian Teams)

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

  * Central: Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red wings, Florida Panthers, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning

   * West: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks, St, Louis Blues. 


Joe Parro, an NHL superfan and potential 2023 OHL Draft Pick, has mixed feelings about the new divisions; he stated, “I’m ok with the new divisions. I would prefer for them to go back to the original divisions after the pandemic. I feel that playing the same teams over and over again isn’t exciting.”   He also had feelings about the NHL allowing fans into the games saying,  “Yes there should be fans; I think that having no fans in the stadium does not make it feel like a real game.  Once Boston gives permission to attend games I will definitely look into going.”


Although this season may not feel right because of many different reasons, the NHL is doing its best to give the fans the excitement they want and keeping the players, coaches, and staff safe all at the same time.