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2020-21 NHL schedule five games Jan. 13

2020-21 NHL schedule five games Jan. 13

2021 schedule gets approval from provinces in all 7 Canadian NHL cities

TORONTO, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~~ December 24, 2020  (LSN)  The Tampa Bay Lightning will raise their second Stanley Cup championship banner before playing the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena on Jan. 13, one of five games on opening night of the 2020-21 NHL season.

In the other games that day, the Pittsburgh Penguins will play at the Philadelphia Flyers; the Montreal Canadiens at the Toronto Maple Leafs; the Vancouver Canucks at the Edmonton Oilers; and the St. Louis Blues at the Colorado Avalanche.

According to a report from TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger, the NHL has received approval from the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec with regards to operating in each province for the 2021 NHL season.

The five provinces responded to the NHL's request in a joint letter penned by Alberta Health chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw and according to Dreger's TSN colleague Frank Seravalli, the provinces provided the NHL with two options that could provide a road map to a green light to start the season with each team playing out of its own arena.

Some details from Seravalli's most recent column for TSN:

The first option called for a “regular testing schedule for players, staff, coaches and close contacts, with close household contact testing required if players are living at home between travel episodes.” It also asked for “enhancing the schedule … to group games into blocks to limit inter-jurisdictional travel between provinces.”
That is the NHL's best bet. Because the second option is decidedly less palatable. It called for the NHL to “reinstate a ‘bubble’ model for the beginning of the season, similar to what was used in the Hub City Series in Edmonton and Toronto.”
The health authorities jointly said that they would support a “phased bubble model (full bubble for 4-6 weeks and then a modified bubble following) … or a full bubble model would be most appropriate.”

So it's daily testing of anyone and everyone involved with the NHL or another bubble format. As Seravalli reports the NHL and the NHLPA have no appetite for another bubble format, so it seems that the league will pursue the first option provided by provincial health authorities. 

Either way, it looks like the 2021 NHL season in Canada is officially a go! 



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