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Potential NHL Division Changes For The 2021 Season

Could we see a familiar face return to the Blackhawks division for the potentially shortened 2021 NHL season?
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NHL Divsion Realignment

Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI/Getty Images

The crazy year that has been 2020 is almost at an end and we still do not have a start date yet for the NHL 2020-21 season. At this rate, it's only going to be the 2021 season. That is fine considering quite recently they did something similar, albeit for different circumstances. The 2021 season could be just as short as the 2013 lockout season unless they push the season end further into the summer. How will the league embrace a full season without a bubble? Potential NHL division changes are the answer to keeping the players and coaches safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More hockey? We aren't complaining!

It was reported on Wednesday by Pierre LeBrun that there is a possible divisional change happening in the NHL, specifically for the unusual 2021 season. This news, if true, is not at all surprising considering the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

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Introducing the Old With the New(ish)

As a Blackhawks fan, if the first thing you notice isn't the Blackhawks being back in the same division as the Detroit Red Wings, then there is something wrong with you! For decades, it has always been perfectly fine to chant DETROIT SUCKS at a Blackhawks game, regardless of the opponent.

Losing the rivalry that has built up recently between the Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues would be a bummer of course, but getting back the heated tradition with the Red Wings is a sweet reward. Nashville and Minnesota would remain divisional opponents, and Nashville can continue their recent rivalry against the Blackhawks and their ever annoying "Keep the red out" campaign.

The other noteworthy addition in the Blackhawks' division is the current Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. How thoughtful of the NHL to include Tampa Bay in a division heavy on the rebuild side. The Blackhawks add a really tough test within the division and also a flair for offensive pressure.

If these potential NHL division changes are true, then I am all for it. I was pretty bummed when the Red Wings were moved out of the Central division a few years ago and this would be great for all the older Hawks fans. Hopefully, the NHL gets their start date situated quickly and we can see the Blackhawks donning their retro jerseys sometime soon!