2021 NHL season will not have the classic Pacific and Central for the Western Conference, and Atlantic and Metropolitan for the Eastern Conference four Divisions, and given a North grouping for Canada, the other three divisions have become simply West, Central and East, organized on a purely geographical basis and distance between cities.
As Alain Vigneault, coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, said: "in the end it will be a bit more similar to what we experience during the playoffs, as mini-series will be played more often against the same opponent", but the goal will remain.
to win the most games and qualify for the finals like every year. For Canada, on the other hand, it is certainly a special scenario, as Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice pointed out: «For us, everything becomes more exciting here.
All the Canadian media, the websites, anyone will talk about the ongoing internal challenges on the agenda. Everything will have an almost old-school flavor, and there will be even stronger incentives for each team."
The subdivision into the classic four Divisions, which make up the two national Conferences in pairs, was abandoned (temporarily), the groupings were made even more on a geographical basis, keeping a specific one for all the teams in Canada, and limiting the movement of the franchises to the maximum for business trips.
The change imposed by the pandemic has mainly blocked Canadian teams within their borders. The ban on travel between Canada and the United States has led to the creation of a North Division that includes all the teams of the Maple Leaf Nation, but the so-called re-alignment has also changed the composition of the groupings of the American teams.
Like all professional sports in the world, also made in the USA ice hockey is dealing with (and has come to terms with) the pandemic and the difficulties associated with lockdowns and closed doors. For the NHL, the American professional league, the 2019/2020 season had already been decisively conditioned by the global situation, and divided into two blocks, ending in September, and, consequently, the new season started in a format specially revised from the start.
Could NBC have troubled WWE with its NXT?
Over the past year, WWE has also focused heavily on NXT as USA Network's Wednesday night show had become the Stamford-based company's main weapon to knock down the TV ratings of WWE's rival company, AEW, which in the same day and in the same time slot it has always broadcast Dynamite, its only main weekly program.
In a war almost always lost by the WWE, also given the huge contribution of views brought by Sting after his sensational debut at Dynamite, the McMahons have always continued to hold NXT on Wednesday, so as to stem the ratings of the rival company as much as possible, that if he had broadcast his Dynamite solo, he might have garnered many more viewers, with the WWE's main concern being that his fanbase would expand even further.
It is fresh news a few hours ago, that the famous American network NBC Sports, has dropped the existing contracts with two famous American sports (and not only), namely the NHL and NASCAR, both very popular in the USA, with the Network that broadcasts NXT which would already be close to an agreement with the two sports worlds to be able to stage their shows.
Should USA Network reach the signing of a contract with NHL and NASCAR, what begins to risk the most is WWE's Wednesday night product, or NXT. According to some insiders, NXT could in fact lose its spot in prime time on Wednesday evening, as the NHL's most important matches are aired on Wednesday evening, with WWE having to settle for another day.
of the week or even a different time slot, with the show that could thus lose several loyal viewers. At the moment, however, nothing is official yet, but the risk is there and it seems to be big. The main concern of WWE, however, remains to leave AEW Dynamite alone, with the flagship show of the Khan family that would thus have the green light to be able to do whatever it wants on Wednesday night, so there will be no more war.
with NXT, who could nibble a few points in the TV ratings on the show with Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes. In the tweet below we can read: "NBC Sports Network is shutting down later this year and big events (NHL and NASCAR among them) will migrate to USA Network.