The National Hockey League made the next stop on their Sponsor Everything ’21 Tour this morning (sorry, that should read the Bridgeport Sponsor Everything ’21 Tour) when they announced their four new temporary divisions would be given corporate names.
Introducing the Scotia NHL North Division, Honda NHL West Division, Discover NHL Central Division, and the MassMutual NHL East Division. The Adams, Patrick, Selke, and Norris they sure ain’t.
Setting aside the silliness of this, hopefully one-year-only division sponsorship, the logos are actually pretty decent, makes me wonder if this was the design template originally planned to be used for the 2021 NHL All-Star Game teams.
The league has been forced to re-align for the 2020-21 season due to guidelines put in place for those travelling to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. All visitors to the country must quarantine for fourteen days, a requirement that makes play between U.S. and Canadian teams quite impractical. All seven of the Canadian teams have been realigned into one division, the (sigh) Scotia NHL North, while the 24 U.S.-based teams have been split up among the three others.
Here’s a look at how the four new divisions have been aligned:
• Scotia NHL North Division: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
• Honda NHL West Division: Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota, San Jose, St. Louis, Vegas
• Discover NHL Central Division: Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay
• MassMutual NHL East Division: Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
Teams will only play games within their own division right up through to the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The three 8-team divisions will play 8 regular season games against each of the other 7 clubs. The North Division, with only 7 teams, will play 9 or 10 against each of their divisional opponents.