Hockey

NHL to start 56-game season on January 13

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Washington, Dec 21 (IANS) The National Hockey League (NHL) and NHL Players’ Association have reached an agreement to play a 56-game regular season starting on January 13, 2021.

The 31 NHL teams will be realigned in four new divisions for the new season, namely North, Central, East and West, and all play will be within respective regions through the first two rounds of the playoffs to reduce the risk of Covid-19. The North Division contains only the seven Canadian teams, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The National Hockey League looks forward to the opening of our 2020-21 season. While we are well aware of the challenges ahead, as was the case last spring and summer, we are continuing to prioritise the health and safety of our participants and the communities in which we live and play,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Most of the league will open training camp on January 3. The teams that didn’t make the playoffs last season can start as soon as December 31. There won’t be any preseason games.

Last season the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars to win the title.

–IANS

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