By Ivan Kennedy
The Flyers finally have their skating orders for the 2020-21 season.
The National Hockey League Players’ Association and National Hockey League have formally agreed to play a 2020-21 regular-season schedule of 56 games beginning Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.
As part of the agreement, the Stanley Cup Playoffs would feature 16 teams in the traditional best-of-seven, four-round format and conclude around mid-July.
The 2021-22 season will return to a “normal” hockey calendar with the regular season starting in October.
The league intends to be flexible and adaptable in their approach during the coming weeks to ensure compliance with directives from both local and national governmental and health authorities focusing on the health and safety of the players other game-related personnel and the communities in which we play other game-related personnel and the communities in which the teams play.
Due to COVID-19 and the ongoing closure of the U.S.-Canada border, the league determined it would require realignment for the divisions.
The league will be split into four divisions, North, West, Central and East. The North Division includes all seven Canadian teams. They will play every other team in its division nine or 10 times, while the other three divisions will play every other team in its division eight times.
Formal training camps will begin on Jan. 3.
The seven teams that did not participate in the 2019-20 Return to Play will be permitted to open their training camps as early as Dec. 31.
There will be no pre-season games.