The NHL Bubble was a success in terms of no COVID outbreaks. There were complications and it did not run smoothly. The league overpromised and under-delivered. Since it doesn’t look like a bubble can happen for the regular season, the idea of a Canadian division has been brought to the table. Since the U.S./Canadian border is closed due to nonessential travel, creating the division could be a good idea.
There are six Canadian NHL teams that would make up this division. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and the Montreal Canadiens.
Drawbacks and Outcomes
The rivalries would be amplified and maybe new ones would be formed. There would be a lot of eyes on these teams, especially during games like Calgary vs. Edmonton. The Battle of Alberta was such a hot item last season, I can only imagine how fun it would be if the teams played each other more frequently.
Toronto wouldn’t have to play their dreaded rivals, Boston, and avoid really any serious competition. It would be a cakewalk for them if they’re allowed to play in their city.
The Toronto Raptors had to move their team to Tampa Bay for the upcoming season, due to being denied the ability to play in Toronto. If that happens to the Maple Leafs, they could probably buddy up with another Canadian team or maybe do what the Raptors did and find a city in the United States to play in.
The weakest team out of the group would have to be Winnepeg. They didn’t have a strong bubble life, their offseason has been sad, and the only thing they have going for them is their Vezina Winning Goalie- Connor Hellebuyck.
On paper, the strongest team is the Toronto Maple Leafs. If no more moves are made for the Leafs, I would say their goaltending could be a problem like it always is. However, I think the Calgary Flames are right up there too since they made some serious upgrades this offseason.
I’m not entirely sold on Edmonton and Montreal. Vancouver lost a lot of key pieces this offseason but also gained Braden Holby.
I’m all in on this idea especially if it means we get to see a lot more of Edmonton and Calgary. I would love to see how the NHL makes it work. It’s a way to get more eyes on the game, especially if rivalries ramp up. Give me fun and exciting hockey. I miss yelling shoot the puck at my television set.
The players' Return to Play Committee has another call scheduled for this afternoon. The 16-player committee has been meeting regularly. One source on the committee says he feels a season start somewhere between Jan. 20-Feb. 1 makes more sense at this point, but nothing decided.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 1, 2020
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