For the first time ever the NHL has sold their four division rights for the 2020- 2021 season. According to CBS Sports, the NHL is now allowing teams to put sponsorships on the side of the team’s helmet. This is the second addition of the 2020- 2021 season that the NHL has released. This will be a one year only trial period.
These strategic moves are to increase advertising marketing and profit for each team and the league as a whole. Thirteen teams have already announced sponsor rights through Tuesday. Although, the majority are directly connected to the names of the arenas of which the respective teams play for.
With the driving revenue being ticket sales the league hopes that the advertising on the helmets and renaming the divisions will help level the playing field in the revenue department.
The four divisions will officially take on these names for the 2020- 2021 season:
- Scotia NHL North Division
- Honda NHL West Division
- Discover NHL Central Division
- MassMutual NHL East Division
There has also been a realignment of the divisions due to traveling restrictions between the United States and Canada due to COVID-19. All Canadian teams will be grouped in the Scotia NHL North Division.
As Far as the season is concerned, according to ESPN, there will be 56 games instead of 82 and the playoffs will start within each division. The top four teams in each division will play each other, the division winner will represent the division going into the final four of the Stanley cup.
There they will be placed based off of point percentage in the regular season. The 2020- 2021 season will begin Jan. 13. With the entire postseason last year being completely played in empty arenas, the league will have the same this season with hopes of having arenas eventually move towards very limited capacity.