via NHL/NHLPA press release,
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and National Hockey League (NHL) announced today an agreement to play a 2020-21 regular-season schedule of 56 games beginning Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, and concluding on May 8. 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 with the plan of returning to a “normal” hockey calendar for the 2021-22 season (regular season beginning in October). The NHL and NHLPA will release the Health and Safety Protocols, transition rules and critical dates calendar as well as the 2020-21 schedule in the coming days....
In reaching agreement on the format for the 2020-21 season, the NHL and NHLPA determined that the ongoing closure of the U.S.-Canada border required realignment and the League and the Players also sought to minimize team travel as much as possible by shifting to exclusively intradivisional play. It is the current plan to play games in the home arenas of participating teams while understanding that most arenas will not, at least in the initial part of the season, be able to host fans. However, depending on prevailing conditions both in local markets and across North America, the League will be prepared to play games in one or more “neutral site” venues per division should it become necessary.
For the 2020-21 season, teams will be re-aligned as follows: