It’s been a long wait to this point, as the NHL narrows its choice for it’s final 2 East and West Playoff Hub Cities. Today we learned that two cities Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Wild, and Columbus, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets have been removed from the running. Rumors are swirling that the once 10 cities in the running have now dwindled down to 6, cities in both the United States and Canada are under final consideration. Places are required to have a large area with hotels, and several rinks for play to be considered as a final hub city. Much like how Disney in Florida is scheduled to host MLS Soccer and NBA Basketball Playoff Tournaments, due to having like accommodations for teams and coaches, remotely close together.
With this in mind, speculation is prevalent for a city in the United States unlike any other, Las Vegas, home of the Golden Knights. With unemployment soaring in this area, due to a heavyweight on tourism as revenue for many businesses, hosting could help the economy drastically. On the other hand, with Canada now open to hosting and letting NHL players in the country, if chosen, another speculation is to have no hub city in the United States at all. With Phase 2 meant to be over at or around July 10th, there is a chance the NHL could hand down its decision this week, so stay tuned.
However, it is important to mention there is a hang-up that could put everything above on hold, potentially even cancel this Playoff Tournament altogether. As I reported in my last article, players are tested when they first begin returning to their team’s facility, then twice a week thereafter. Since phase two began just a couple weeks ago, 11 tests out of a little over 200 give, have already come back positive for Covit-19. These players will have to remain in quarantine for 2 weeks and we wish them all a quick recovery. It shows how incredibly easy it is to spread this virus, as MLB and NHL teams report having multiple members infected already on teams, it will be interesting to see how these planned playoffs continue. If they, in fact, can, and further how this will affect plans of the coming 2020-1019 season for all contact and non-contact sports.