NHL will return for shortened season on Jan. 13

The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association reached an agreement Sunday for a 56-game season beginning Jan. 13.

The seven Canadian teams will be in the North Division as part of the league’s realignment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams are divided into four divisions with games played within the division.

The NHL stated the plan is to play games in the home arenas of participating teams, but is prepared to play games in one or more “neutral-site” venues per division if necessary.

Approval from health officials in the five Canadian provinces with NHL teams is needed for the Canadian clubs to play at home.

Each team in the East, Central and West divisions will play every other team in its division eight times while each team in the North Division will play every other team in its division nine or 10 times.

The top four teams in each division qualify for the playoffs.

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