The Minnesota Wild were given the option of being in the NHL revamped Central or the West Division this season. Reports are they didn't care so they will be in the West.

I get up early to go to work.  I'm sure I'm not the only fan miffed at why they would want to be in a division in a different time zone where games are played when it's late in the evening here.

Thanks for not thinking of the fans Minnesota Wild front office.

I realize this is a one year interim setup but the Wild were asked for a preference.

Sunday the NHL and it's players came to an agreement to play a 56-game season schedule to begin January 13th.

The Wild start training camp January 3.  There will be no preseason games.  The regular season will conclude May 8.

As part of the agreement the Stanley Cup Playoffs would feature 16 teams in the traditional best of seven, four round format and conclude around mid-July with the plan to return to a "normal" hockey season for 2021-22.

The NHL regular season was released today and the Wild open their 20th season on the road for the sixth straight year.

The first game is January 14 at the Los Angeles Kings.  After four games on the road (all in the Pacific Time Zone) the home opener will be Friday, January 22 against the San Jose Sharks at the Xcel Energy Center.

After the opening four games on the road the next road series will be in the Mountain Time Zone against Colorado.  Phoenix, Arizona is also in the Mountain Time Zone.

The divisions will be the Central, East, North and West.

The West Division is:

  • Minnesota Wild
  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Sam Jose Sharks
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Vegas Golden Knights

The seven teams in Canada will be in the North Division.

  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Calgary Flames
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Vancouver Canucks

The Central Division:

  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Florida Panthers
  • Nashville Predators
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Dallas Stars
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Columbus Blue Jackets

East Division:

  • New York Rangers
  • New Jersey Devils
  • New York Islanders
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Boston Bruins
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Washington Capitals

All teams will only play within their division during the regular season.  Teams in the North will play each other 9 or 10 times, all other teams face their divisional opponents eight times.

The top four teams in each division qualify for the playoffs.  The first two rounds will be intradivisional play.  The four division winners advance to the semifinals and will be reseeded based on point totals from the regular season.

The semifinal winners play for the Stanley Cup.

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