Report: Red Wings to play in realigned NHL ‘central’ division with Chicago, Carolina

Divisions shift as league prepares for pandemic-shortened season

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 05: Connor Murphy #5 of the Chicago Blackhawks lands on top of Robby Fabbri #14 of the Detroit Red Wings as they slide into Corey Crawford #50 at the United Center on January 05, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) (Jonathan Daniel, 2020 Getty Images)

There is another report on what the realigned NHL divisions will look like when the new season starts in 2021.

Pierre LeBrun reported Wednesday -- via “sources” -- that the divisions will look like this when the pandemic-shortened season begins (Jan. 13):

  • “Atlantic” -- Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
  • “Central” -- Carolina, Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, Tampa
  • “Pacific” -- Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose, St. Louis, Vegas
  • All Canadian division -- the 7 Canadian teams

Previous reports had St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the “central” while Carolina stayed east and Minnesota went west. As far as I know, there are no official names for these divisions right now.

This is subject to change, of course:

As previously reported, if the season can start mid-January, the league expects to have a 56-game regular season. Don’t expect fans in any of the buildings any time soon.

The last time the NHL played a shortened season was in 2012-13 when a labor dispute between the league and players union delayed the season’s start until Jan. 6, 2013. They ended up playing a 48-game season, just as they did in 1994-95 due to another lockout.

Bettman: NHL divisions must realign for 2021 season, Canadian-only division probable

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.