Over at ESPN.com, old friend Greg Wyshynski said he was “hearing” something new today, which would have the Avs play in a newly-formed, presumably one-year-only West Division as part of a realigned 2020-21 NHL regular season.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 19, 2020
Longtime Avs fans will remember that the team started out in Denver by playing in the Pacific Division, with the three California teams and three from Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver). Longtime Avs fans will also remember what those days were like: lots of late nights.
If this will be the division the Avs play in, I think it will give them a slight advantage over playing in the normal Central Division. Four of the eight teams (Anaheim, L.A., San Jose and Minnesota) didn’t make the playoffs last season. I think Arizona will take a step back and, frankly, I don’t think Dallas will be as good either.
Being in the same division as Vegas won’t be as much fun on the ice – but I think it could make for a great new rivalry. Why Minnesota would be in the West Division instead of, say, St. Louis or Nashville, is a bit strange, but, hey, the more games the Avs can feast on the Wild this coming season, the better. I think they’ll be worse than last year’s mediocre squad.
Other reports have said the schedule would be games played only against other division opponents, which would be radical. But because we’re still in such lousy Covid-19 times – and what a damn disgrace that we are – nothing can be normal still.
I’ve been in touch with some Avs personnel lately and the situation can be summed up as: “Just tell us when and where we need to be, and let’s go.” People are TIRED of all this, and want to play hockey and get paid to play hockey. Of course, there are now serious concerns about what kind of financial structure players will face when/if the season resumes. Players have already agreed to a 20-percent escrow deduction from their pay for this season, along with another 10-percent deferral to later years when revenue recovers. Now, there are reports that owners want players to take a bigger bite of escrow.
Can someone wake me up when 2020 is over, please?