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Sources: NHL teams to play home games in own buildings this season

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Mind you, this is not official yet. Nothing with the NHL’s 2020-21 regular season is official yet. But Colorado Hockey Now can report this with good faith:

Even though the likelihood of fans being in the stands is next to zero, NHL teams will play their regular-season home games in their own buildings. The concept of any “hub cities”, like there were in the playoffs, is not on the drawing board anymore, NHL sources tell me. Sources also tell Colorado Hockey Now that the travel will only be to games within a team’s division, however.

In the Avalanche’s case, that means a schedule – expected to be 56 games – that will see games against only seven opponents: the Ducks, Coyotes, Stars, Kings, Sharks, Blues, Golden Knights. The Avs are expected to be in this one-year-only, realigned Pacific Division. Again, the schedule is not set just yet with regard to every opponent. Could there be a special one-off type of game played, say, outdoors, between teams from other divisions or conferences? Sources say that’s still possible.

Because of the new vaccines against the coronavirus, the league feels confident it can execute a regular season in which teams travel from city to city, though the precautions are still expected to be lengthy and formidable. The NHL remains adamant, however, that it will not seek to jump the queue in obtaining vaccinations ahead of others, such as hospital workers, the elderly and first responders.

The Masters

It is highly unlikely that fans will be in the stands, at least at the start of the regular season, which still has a Jan. 13 target date. Could there  be some fans, though, given that the NFL, MLS and MLB all have allowed a limited number in the building? That question is still essentially on a day-to-day basis. No one really knows what the landscape might look, say, two months from now with regard to the virus.

The league knows it will take another financial hit this season, but feels very optimistic that things will be back to normal for the 2021-22 season.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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Luke Waggoner

Great news! I think they should allow like 25-50% capacity from day one. Let people manage their own risk levels, check temps before you let people in, manage the walking around and how to spread people across the seats, and let’s go.

Jon

What does checking a temp do for people that are asymptomatic? It’s not just the fans that are of concern, the players are breathing the same air as everyone else in the building.

[…] I reported that the NHL wants and expects for teams to play regular-season home games in their own buildings […]

[…] I reported that the NHL wants and expects for teams to play regular-season home games in their own buildings […]

[…] put out any word on if any teams will be permitted to have fans in the arena. Despite the consensus that all teams will play in their home arena this year, the odds that fans will be let in through the gates remain very low. However, the Premier […]

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