According to Pierre LeBrun, the hope is now that the NHL and NHLPA will have their two hub cities selected sometime next week. As you may recall, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Thursday, May 28, “I’m going to probably have to make a decision collectively on this probably in three weeks. I think in two weeks we’ll start narrowing down further. Somewhere around three weeks we’re going to have to pull the trigger and finalize the arrangements and make the deposits.” If you project that out, a short list should Have been made by Thursday, June 11, with the decision on the final two locations coming by Friday, June 19. It now sounds like that date has slipped into next week.
What were once steadfast rules regarding the location of the hub cities, may now be not so set in stone. Pierre LeBrun is reporting that Toronto does not necessarily have a lock on the second hub city.
”Despite all the speculation that Toronto is a frontrunner in Canada, I’ve had NHL and NHLPA sources tell me this week that in fact Toronto is not considered a frontrunner. It doesn’t mean Toronto won’t end up as a hub city, but the clear message was to put Edmonton and Vancouver right there with Toronto. All with an equal chance. The low number of cases in Edmonton alone should put that market in a decent position.”
Since Las Vegas is all but confirmed as one of the hub cities, that would mean putting the second hub city also in the west.
“Could the NHL end up with both hub cities in the West? Vegas and Edmonton or Vegas and Vancouver? The answer is yes. If that’s what everyone feels is safest from a COVID-19 perspective and makes the most sense, it’s possible.”
As for teams playing in their own building, that also seems to now be up in the air.
“There are some who believe the hub city hosts shouldn’t be able to actually play in their own town. So under this scenario some feel is possible, the Golden Knights would have to leave town and play their games in the other hub along with the rest of the Western Conference,” or would they?
Sin Bin Las Vegas reported Wednesday night that their sources are telling them that the Knights will indeed be staying put for the playoffs.
Despite what has been expected for the past few weeks, sources are telling us VGK players were recently informed the current plan is for them to play their games at T-Mobile Arena if/when the NHL selects Las Vegas as a hub city.
They would be required to stay in a hotel though.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) June 18, 2020
So does that mean that another western conference city will be hub number two? Or does it mean Toronto has been indeed selected as the second hub city?
We will hopefully finally know where the Capitals are heading sometime next week.
By Jon Sorensen