In case you missed it yesterday TSN hockey insider Pierre LeBrun reported that the NHL has settled on division re-alignment for the upcoming 2021 season, with the obvious reservation being that thanks to the uncertainty of COVID-19 that it is subject to change.
With that being said, here's how the re-alignment shakes out:
Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals
South Central Division:
Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning
Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights
Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets
More on the divisional breakdown in a moment, but first ESPN's Greg Wyshynski tried to out-scoop LeBrun by posting the divisions online before TSN. One problem though... they were completely wrong and didn't even include the Flyers...
The Flyers' official Twitter account took the opportunity to poke some fun at ESPN, the media giant who call themselves "the worldwide leader in sports."
Check it out:
Perfect... absolutely perfect. Take a seat ESPN and let the real hockey reporters do their jobs.
Now, moving on to the divisions.
The Lightning are going to absolutely feast on that South Central Division. Ditto for the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Division. The Canadian Division might be the toughest though. Where would you rank a team like the Vancouver Canucks who appeared to take a step forward last season? They'll be in much tougher in this division than they would have been in the Pacific Division last season. Keep in mind the team made the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round simply by points percentage. With their new divisional rivals, they could be in tough.
And don't expect other 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff Qualifying teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers to glide by this season either. All of these teams will be in tough to secure a playoff spot in 2021.