Earlier this week the National Hockey League appeared to narrow down it's potential list of hub cities for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs to a short list of just 10 cities, although as you will see later in this article that list may have actually been narrowed down to 10 due to recent events.
First the NHL announced the following cities were currently still in the running as of Tuesday:
Los Angeles, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
Vancouver, British Columbia
Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota.
Now in my personal opinion there are some clear favorites on this list, namely Edmonton, Pittsburgh and Columbus. The reason for all three in my estimation is the same, they have been spared the worst of the current COVID-19 pandemic and for that reason would seemingly provide the lowest risk of potential infections being spread among NHL players who will be participating in the playoffs. Cities like Toronto and Los Angeles on the other hand are in the exact opposite situation with both cities seeing a high rate of infections and frankly I was surprised to see the NHL include them on the list in spite of the fact that both cities obviously bring a lot to the table outside of the health concerns.
One candidate that I believe you can now effectively take off of the list however is unfortunately Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota's Twin Cities. Unfortunately recent events have resulted in over 250 business either being completely destroyed or looted and I can't imagine a scenario in which the NHL would now view that as an attractive location in which to host the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That is extremely unfortunate as Minnesota has an excellent hockey culture, proudly calling themselves the state of hockey, and no doubt the recent events represent the actions of a few rather than reflecting on the citizens of either city as a whole.
There's been no word yet on which way the NHL will go on this one but at the end of the day they will select 2 of these cities to host the 24 team playoff format that will be presented later this year. Which candidates would you like to see win the opportunity to host the event?