The upcoming 2021 NHL season remains in limbo.
We do not currently know the details of the 2021 season because COVID-19 is still ravaging the United States.
Wild speculation about everything ranging from the number of games to divisional realignments roams the rumor mill. The Dallas Stars are well familiarized with rule changes having just spent 2 months in the Edmonton Bubble.
We won’t know what’s in store for this upcoming season but here are just some of the things being discussed.
Back to the Pacific, the Stars go. The Stars spent many years in the Pacific Division before going to the Central.
Divisional realignments are needed. It all stems from Canada closing the border.
The Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball had to play their home games in Buffalo, New York because teams couldn’t cross the border. To solve this, the NHL is proposing an all-Canada division for the upcoming year.
Throw out conferences. There will be no Eastern Conference or Western Conference because teams will be lumped together in the 4 divisions.
The Stars would go to a division with the Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, and Minnesota Wild. Nothing like old and new rivals mixed together in one happy place.
Speaking of happy places, the American Airlines Center may or may not host a Stars game this season. There seems to be a growing consensus that there will be “hubs” that host games. Depending on where that hub is, the league could refuse to allow fans in or allow them at a 25% capacity.
The plan is to start the new year off right. January 1 is the target start date for the season so we can all kick this horrifically awful 2020 to the curb.
The length of the season is also up for debate.
The 3 season lengths being talked about are 48, 60, and the full 82 games. It will be almost impossible to play the full 82 game season unless they want it to end in September again. 48 games seem likely which is what they did for the 2013 season after the lockout.
There are many moving things involved in the negotiations to get the hockey season rolling along. It may take another year but Stars fans owe full-arena raucous applause to the team for their Stanley Cup Final run. Situations regarding the Pandemic may evolve as the season progresses. The playoff format could change yet again.
It’s a shame that the Stars didn’t play a Stanley Cup Final game in front of a full American Airlines Center crowd.
Hopefully, they will get the chance in 2021.
Featured Image: Dallas Stars/Facebook