The NHL says it believes it has an agreement with provincial governments on the conditions for its Canadian teams to play out the 2021 season from their home markets.
“On the basis of our discussions in the past week, as well as our exchange of correspondence over the last 24 hours, we believe we are aligned and in agreement on the conditions on which each of our Canadian franchises can begin play in their own buildings for the start of the 2020-21 NHL season,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Thursday.
CBC News has confirmed the statement, as first reported by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.
The seven Canadian teams will be grouped in one division and only play each other for the duration of the 56-game schedule, which is slated to begin Jan. 13.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are scheduled to host the Montreal Canadiens, while the Edmonton Oilers are slated to face the visiting Vancouver Canucks as part of a five-game schedule on opening night.
The Winnipeg Jets open Jan. 14 against the visiting Calgary Flames, while the Oilers and Canucks meet again in Edmonton.
The Ottawa Senators start their season Jan. 15 against visiting Toronto, the first of two games in as many days between the Ontario rivals in the nation’s capital.
Baseball-style series are common under the revised scheduele as the league attempts to reduce travel. For example, the Canadiens and Senators each are scheduled to play three straight games in Vancouver in January.