Jets planning to play home games in Saskatchewan with no capacity restrictions
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Jets planning to play home games in Saskatchewan with no capacity restrictions

Whoa! Breaking news from Elliotte Friedman.



With the NHL postponing literally dozens of games north of the border in Canada over the past month, there's been real talk about the league's Canadian teams playing out the string south of the border in American arenas. On the surface it makes total sense, if a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs can't generate income at home, why not go down the highway, cross the bridges and play out the string in Buffalo, NY and then split the revenue with the Buffalo Sabres?

Another option from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman is equally as intriguing though. Why not have the Canadian teams play out the string in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where there are currently no restrictions on capacity?

From Friedman's most recent 32 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:

4. Interesting question posed by one executive: would any Canadian teams consider temporarily playing home games at the 15,000-seat SaskTel Centre, home of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades? Saskatchewan is still allowing full capacity at this time. Obviously, the NHL, the NHLPA and the province would have to approve.

- Elliotte Friedman

And this evening Friedman issued an update to his theory, reporting that the Winnipeg Jets are officially doing the legwork required to play home games in their neighbouring province.

Check it out:

Personally, I'm all for it. And could you imagine the kind of crowd you'd get in the 'toon for a Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada game on the big stage? It would be absolutely electric. Imagine 15,000 NHL starved prairie hockey fans cheering on an actual regular season NHL game in their own barn. Damn... I may just buy a ticket and make a road trip of it myself just to be part of that atmosphere.

Part of me doubts that this would ever happen though, as Gary Bettman and the NHL seem to have some sort of bias against smaller Canadian markets. But, desperate times call for desperate measures and in a season that's already been so strange, why not go full on strange and have the Jets call SaskTel Centre home ice for 2022?

Source: Elliotte Friedman