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)
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) (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.