Ottawa Senators & Toronto Maple Leafs Receive Clearance To Play 2021 Games In OntarioJanuary 8, 2021
The Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs received some good news on Thursday, just six days before the scheduled start of the 2020-21 NHL season.
Lisa MacLeod, the Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, announced in a statement that the Maple Leafs and Senators will be allowed to play their 2020-21 home games in their respective cities:
The Senators play at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Maple Leafs’ home venue is Scotiabank Arena.
All seven Canadian NHL teams will play in the “North Division” for the 2020-21 season; the Canada-U.S. border is closed due to the ongoing COVID-10 pandemic.
The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks have also received the green light to play at their respective arenas. Only the Winnipeg Jets are waiting from approval from the province of Manitoba.
Per Ian Mendes of The Athletic, the Senators and Maple Leafs will play with no fans in attendance for the foreseeable future, and that’s unlikely to change for the 2020-21 campaign.
So far, only the Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning have announced plans to have a limited amount of fans for their 2020-21 home games.
The NBA’s Toronto Raptors and MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays didn’t receive permission from the federal government to play in Canada. As such, the Raptors are playing their 2020-21 home games in Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays played last season in Buffalo, though they hope to return to Toronto for home games in 2021.
The 56-game season is slated to begin next Wednesday. Toronto will open their season at home against the Canadiens. The Senators will welcome the Maple Leafs on Jan. 15 in their season opener.
Right now, the regular season is scheduled to conclude on May 8, with the Stanley Cup playoffs to conclude at some point in July. The NHL is hoping to get back to a traditional 82-game season and October start for the 2021-22 campaign.
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