The puck will drop in the ice in the NHL regular season Finnish time on Thursday night after a 10-month break.
However, the beginning of the season is far from normal.
Instead of the normal 82-game regular season, each team is now scheduled to play 56 matches.
The regular season is set to run from now on without any break for 116 days.
Prior to the season, there were no practice games in the program.
The biggest change is the new, temporary division of the division, with which the NHL will solve the problems of crossing the border between Canada and the United States.
On the Canadian side, a mutual division of the country’s seven teams has been formed.
At the same time, geographically defined, three divisions emerged south of the border: eastern, central, and western.
Read more: Finnish experts uploaded their views on a special NHL season - this is what happens to Laine, Rantanen and Puljujärvi
The entire Regular Season is only played against teams in their own division.
In the Northern Division, teams face each other 9 to 10 times, in the U.S. 8. In most cases, teams play at least a couple of games in the same location to reduce travel to the tube.
The top four from each division advance to the playoffs.
The same opponents will become really familiar, as the first two rounds of the playoffs, which start in May, will be played within the division.
Then there are four division winners left to decide the fate of the Stanley Cup by early July at the latest.
The future champion will therefore face only 8 or 9 teams out of 31 throughout the season.
This season's divisions: North (left), West, Central and East.Photo: NHL
Teams play in their home halls instead of individual tournament bubbles.
The public may be admitted in accordance with local regulations.
At least Florida, Arizona and Dallas are allowed to take about 4,000 to 5,000 spectators to the gallery right from the start of the season.
The season’s specials also include two outdoor ice games between Colorado and Vegas and Philadelphia and Boston, which will be played without a crowd in the Sierra Nevada mountains just over a month ago.
It is known that other teams have also explored opportunities to play at some point through the skies.
However, the worsening corona situation over the fall is creating its still dark shadow over the NHL.
In the United States, there were 200,000 to 300,000 new cases of the disease every day at the beginning of January.
5,000-10,000 in Canada.
As a precaution, a few teams had to cancel their training through less than a couple of weeks before training camp.
The Dallas team revealed several infections, and the team won’t be able to start through this week.
Read more: NHL training camps reveal 27 corona infections - Dallas Finnish Quartet aside from training
It may be impossible to avoid match transfers this season.
Because players normally live at home instead of hotel bubbles, the responsibility of individuals for the success of the season is great.
Coaches wear face masks on the bench this season.
Teams are prepared for the season only by playing their internal practice games.Photo: Frank Gunn / ZUMA / MVphotos
In addition to the normal line-up of 23 men, each team will be accompanied by a team of 4-6 players, “Taxi Squad”, for infections and quarantines.
They are “on paper” in the AHL, but train and travel with the NHL team.
The AHL season is scheduled to begin in early February, but three teams have already announced they will skip the season.
The current situation is financially difficult for both owners and players.
Due to the huge financial successes, the normally rising annual salary ceiling for the series remains at 81.5 million, which has hampered the operations of many teams.
Players will have to cut their salaries significantly this season.
They are left with 72 percent of their normal salary before taxes.
Read more: NHL star Mikko Rantanen's contract reads 12 million, but only a fraction snaps - this is how the million pot shrinks
The echo of the halls in its emptiness makes a huge notch in the owners ’wallets.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Monday that normally about 50 per cent of the series' revenue comes from match events.
This season, the financial losses, according to the beak man of the NHL, will already rise to the billionth grade.
- It should be cheaper for us not to play.
At both the team and league level, we lose more money by playing than by not playing, Bettman said.
- But we play because we think it's important for the sport and because players and fans want it, Bettman painted.
That’s what Winnipeg’s home arena looked like a couple of days before the start of the season.
The lower parts of the auditoriums are upholstered to better suit TV images, as in the autumn playoffs. Photo: John Woods / ZUMA / MVphotos
Thanks to the shortened special season, which is played only by a few teams, the importance of individual games is now growing from normal.
You have to be awake right at the beginning or the playoffs can escape very quickly.
Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donsko's Colorado Avalanche have been named the biggest champion favorites in betting offices.
It plays in the most obviously impressive western division in advance planning, with another real champion candidate being the Vegas Golden Knights.
The number one favorite in the Central Division is defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, who is challenged by rising Carolina Hurricanes starring Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teräväinen.
Colorado, led by Mikko Rantanen (left) and Nathan MacKinnon, has high expectations for success. Photo: Jason Franson / ZUMA / MVphotos
The most rigorous division in advance is the East, where a fierce battle is fought over the four sequels, where some strong team is forced to lick their keys.
Even in Canada, the number one favorite cloak falls on the further strengthened Toronto, which has a tenacious reputation as an eternal failure.
Now, however, the table is set for Leafs.
Otherwise, the northern division is very circular in advance, and the balance of power will not clear until the end of the season.
In recent years, a wave of young Finnish stars has swept the NHL to an unprecedented extent.
In total, there are now 80 Finnish NHL contract players, of whom more than 50 have been seen in bucks this season. In Finnish terms, the NHL is now more interesting than ever before.
Today, three Finns are the most important players on their teams: Sebastian Aho in Carolina, Aleksander Barkov in Florida and Miro Heiskanen in Dallas.
In addition to them, at least Mikko Rantanen of Colorado, Patrik Laine of Winnipeg, Teuvo Teräväinen of Carolina and Tuukka Rask of Boston can be included in the brightest star category.
The teasing Finnish interest is also one notch lower.
After a difficult season of arrival, a breakthrough can be expected from Kaapo Kako of NY Rangers.
Jesse Puljujärvi, meanwhile, returns to Edmonton for his second NHL attempt.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi of Montreal, Juuso Välimäki of Calgary and Mikko Lehtonen of Toronto are also players whose extracts will be monitored with a magnifying glass in the coming season.
Kaapo Kakko will probably start his season as the chain friend of Rangers' number one star Artemi Panarin. Photo: Kostas Lymperopoulos / ZUMA / MVphotos
NHL season dates
January 13 The regular season begins
April 12 Transfer limit
May 8 The regular season ends
May 11 The playoffs begin
July 9 Last possible final
July 21 Seattle Kraken expansion draft
July 23 Booking ceremony
July 28 The free player market opens