Well, the NHL plans to have an “almost” normal regular season this fall. This news comes as the 2020-21 season ended a little while ago. During that time, the NHL shortened the regular season to only 56-games, which began in January rather than October.
In addition, there were specific travel restrictions set in place out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19.
Why The NHL Season Won’t Exactly Be Normal
The NHL is hoping to have an 82-game season and will release the full schedule before the start of the NHL Draft on Friday, July 23.
Now, it may be a little bit of a stretch to say the regular season will completely go back to normal. There are some requirements that the league must follow.
For example, fully vaccinated players will be allowed to return to pre-COVID conditions. So, players can travel without any special protocols and won’t have to be tested for the virus if they choose to work out either on and off the ice.
It is not clear on how the NHL will approach unvaccinated players just yet. But it is likely that more information about this will come pretty soon.
NHL Divisions Will No Longer Be Split Up
The NHL is also planning to go back to its old (pre-COVID) division alignments. This means that the Metropolitan and Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference and the Central and Pacific Divisions will be a part of the Western Conference.
In addition, each NHL team will have to play every other team at least twice.
So, in a nutshell, it looks as if major things will be happening in the NHL this season. Fans have a lot to look forward to.
To top that all off, fans will be seeing a brand new team on the ice, the Seattle Kraken. With the new addition to the league set to kick off their season this fall, that will force the Arizona Coyotes to move from the Pacific to the Central Division.
That plan will still stay in place, just as it did when the league announced an expansion team would be coming soon.
In conclusion, the 2021-22 season looks to be an exciting season for many big time hockey fans. They will get to enjoy the full 82-game season just as they did about two years ago.
What is even better is that hockey fans and enthusiasts will get to see the Kraken begin their season. It will be interesting to see how this new team does this year.
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