The only real way around that may be to create an all-Canadian division, which would consist of seven teams. This is beginning to sound more and more likely.
One of the late proposals have shifted teams around to better balance the other three divisions:
This would give the Sabres a nearly brand new division for 2021, and what appears already to be a much more difficult one.
These would be temporary, but another thing the NHL is considering is having teams play each other back-to-back or in mini-series, kind of like baseball does. The Sabres could see a lot of the Metro division from last year, but it will be odd to not play Toronto.
For the seven teams in the Canada division, it’d be interesting to see how that plays out. Even in a reduced season, those teams should become very familiar with each other in a hurry.