If Minnesota Wild fans want to catch a glimpse of their team this season, they're going to have to have plenty of coffee ready to go. As the NHL announced a 52-game regular season on Sunday, it was revealed that the Wild will play in the revamped West Division for a schedule that will begin on Jan. 13.
The Wild will play exclusively in the West Division as a part to cut down on travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and create a Canadian bubble for teams in the North Division for a temporary one-year realignment.
While the idea looks to be a good one for the league, it may have Wild fans left out as they'll battle with the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, and Vegas Golden Knights.
You may notice that's five opponents that are located in the Pacific time zone and one that's in the mountain time zone, which will mean a lot of late nights for Wild fans. (Assuming that they can even get FSN North, whose parent company Sinclair is currently in a brawl for its broadcasting rights with many major cable and streaming providers.)
As part of the agreement, the NHL will still have intradivisional play for the first two rounds of the playoffs, which are slated to begin on May 8 which each round re-seeded based on regular-season points.
Teams are allowed to begin training camp on Jan. 3 with teams that did not make the playoffs allowed to open on Dec. 31.