Bettman: Canadian division, realignment likely this season
While the NHL and NHLPA continue to work on a framework for the 2020-21 season, commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will likely need to realign, which would include an all-Canadian division.
"There are a lot of things we have to do to return to play. ... We have travel issues because of the restrictions at the border between Canada and the U.S. You can't go back and forth, so we're actually going to have to realign," Bettman told the "Maccabi USA Sports Show," according to NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.
"If everything stays the way it is, we're probably going to have to have a Canadian division and realign in the U.S., and we're trying to focus on dealing with all of those challenges."
The all-Canadian division would include the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Winnipeg Jets. It's unclear how the 24 U.S. clubs would realign.
The NHL and NHLPA have reportedly dropped discussions regarding financial changes in an effort to begin a new season Jan. 13. Both sides apparently prefer to play a 56-game schedule in 2020-21.
The NHL has a call scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday with the league's Board of Governors to update the teams on the ongoing negotiations, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
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