VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Vancouver Canucks will start the 2020-21 NHL season in an all-Canadian division next month when play resumes, but it’s still not clear if the puck will drop at Rogers Arena.
Canucks training camp begins Jan. 3 and opening night across the league will be Jan. 13 — these things we know.
However, what remains to be determined is where exactly Vancouver will get to play their home games.
B.C. is one of three provinces which has yet to agree on the NHL’s new deal. The league says teams can play games at one or more neutral sites, depending on prevailing conditions. The NHL and its Players Association add they’ll be flexible and adaptable in the coming weeks to remain in compliance with governments and health authorities.
“Dr. (Bonnie) Henry continues to work with the NHL and the other provinces involved to find a safe solution for the return to league play,” B.C.’s Ministry of Health says in a statement. “Discussions have been ongoing to ensure the proposal aligns with the restrictions in place across all provinces.”
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) December 21, 2020
On Sunday, it was announced that the NHL’s Board of Governors approved the agreement between the league and NHLPA for a 56-game season, which will conclude on May 8.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature 16 teams in the traditional best-of-seven, four-round format and wrap up around mid-July. The plan is to return to a “normal” hockey calendar for the 2021-22 season in October.
The Canucks will be part of the North Division, which also includes the other Canadian hockey teams; Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Calgary.
Each team in this division will square off nine or 10 times. The top four teams in each division — North, East, Central, and West — will qualify for the playoffs.
Teams that did not qualify for the 2020 post-season will be permitted to begin activities on Dec. 31. No pre-season games will be held.
The schedule as well as health and safety protocols will be out this week