Zack Kassian fights Matthew Tkachuk

The NHL has officially released its schedule for the upcoming 2021 season. The puck is set to drop on Jan. 13th with temporary divisional realignment in place for the year. There will be no preseason.

It will be a reduced 56-game regular season but will still feature the traditional 16-team, best-of-seven four-round playoff format. There will be 868 regular-season games played in total, including triple the amount of usual Canadian matchups due to the all-Canadian division.

Here’s how the divisions will look:

North Division: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg

West Division: Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota, St. Louis, San Jose, Vegas

Central Division: Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay

East Division: Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

Each team in the East, Central and West divisions will play every other team in its division eight times, while each team in the North Division will play every other team in its division nine or 10 times.

The season will open with five games on Jan. 13. The Flyers will face the Penguins, the Leafs will play the Habs, the Canucks will take on the Oilers, the Blues will face the Avalanche and the Lightning will face the Blackhawks.

Here are the openers for all the teams:

The Battle of Alberta will be played 10 times, while Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews will faceoff on nine different occasions.

Outside of the great team rivalries, another rivalry to watch out for is between the Tkachuk brothers. Brady Tkachuk’s Ottawa Senators and Matthew Tkachuk’s Calgary Flames will play each other nine times. The Flames have deemed it “The Tkachuk Bowl”

If you want to see the 2021 NHL season schedule in its entirety, go here.

We’ve also compiled each team’s full individual schedules:

Anaheim Ducks

Arizona Coyotes

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

Calgary Flames

Carolina Hurricanes

Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche

Columbus Blue Jackets

Dallas Stars

Detroit Red Wings

Edmonton Oilers

Florida Panthers

Los Angeles Kings

Minnesota Wild

Montreal Canadiens

Nashville Predators

New Jersey Devils

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Ottawa Senators

Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins

San Jose Sharks

St. Louis Blues

Tampa Bay Lightning

Toronto Maple Leafs

Vancouver Canucks

Vegas Golden Knights

Washington Capitals

Winnipeg Jets

One of the biggest takeaways from the schedule is that the Ducks and Kings will play five times in a row from April 20th to May 1st. Talk about growing a rivalry.

These are the key dates to keep in mind for the 2021 season:

Key Dates

Regular season begins: Monday, January 13th

NHL Trade deadline: Sunday, April 12th

End of regular season: Friday, May 8th

NHL Expansion draft (Seattle Kraken): Tuesday, July 21st

NHL draft: Thursday and Friday, July 23-24th

Free-agency begins: Tuesday, July 28th

The NHL has stated that game times and TV broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Here’s what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had to say about the NHL making its return in 2021:

“The National Hockey League looks forward to the opening of our 2020-21 season, especially since the Return to Play in 2019-20 was so successful in crowning a Stanley Cup champion. While we are well aware of the challenges ahead, as was the case last spring and summer, we are continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our participants and the communities in which we live and play. And, as was the case last spring and summer, I thank the NHLPA, particularly Executive Director Don Fehr, for working cooperatively with us to get our League back on the ice.”