For 2021, the Central division is going to look very different this season.
Teams under the spotlight here; the Dallas Stars and the Carolina Hurricanes.
Two teams with many things in common from a historical standpoint. Such as playing hockey in the south, a Stanley Cup each and, relocation from more traditional hockey markets.
Both the Stars and the Hurricanes mirror each other in today’s game too. Obviously, both will be playing in the same division. In this age of Twitter, both teams’ account handles like having fun, including each other.
Something both teams are known for across the entire NHL; defense. Dallas and Carolina are known for their defensive gameplay. It’s Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg who spearhead the NHL’s top defensive core for the Stars.
Jacob Slavin and Dougie Hamilton lead Carolina’s defense. Both the Stars and the Hurricanes are boasted to have two D pairings in all of the NHL.
These two divisional rivals will be meeting at least eight times in 2021. With one of the regular season games being aired on NBC Sports Network. Barring any flexes. It’s plausible to think these two could meet more than eight times if they matchup in either of the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Gary Bettman was right to grow the NHL and the game itself to other markets in the United States beyond traditional northern markets. Such as the West with teams like the Arizona Coyotes and the Vegas Golden Knights. And of course, in the Sun Belt with the Stars and the Hurricanes. Expanding into nontraditional markets means more revenue for the league. As well as more viewership and kids learning how to play hockey.
The ice isn’t the only hang-out between these two franchises. Twitter has been a fun place for the teams to exchange pleasantries with one another. As shown above. More fun between the team accounts in tweets will follow.
A couple of dates to mark in your calendar; January fourteenth is when the Stars’ season begins (NHL season begins one day earlier). A new sunbelt rivalry begins Saturday, January thirtieth.
It’s going to be a fun ride between Victory Green and A Bunch Of Jerks.
Featured Image: Michael Ainsworth/AP