Look… the NHL has been on “pause” for nearly 50 days and we’re all starting to go a little stir crazy, right?
I mean… I just want hockey back. However the NHL decides to dole it out, whatever kind of whacky scheduling they need to roll out… whatever. I’m fine with it all. Just give me some playoff hockey, PLEASE!
With that in mind, there are a few particularly crazy ideas making the rounds on social media these days. By now we all know that the NHL has dismissed the idea of “neutral site” games in places like North Dakota, Saskatchewan or New Hampshire. But the league hasn’t ruled out the possibility of having a select few NHL cities host the rest of the league. Again with that in mind, check out this proposal from a Reddit user that’s raising some eyebrows around the hockey world.
The OP (original poster) proposes using Las Vegas, Columbus and Raleigh as host cities for three different splinter groups (Western, Central, Eastern).
I gotta say… there’s NO way this plan ever comes to fruition. Put aside the obvious logistical problems of having teams isolated from other teams outside their division, why choose these locations? Frankly, it seems pretty arbitrary. What's the reasoning?
Columbus? Ohio was one of the first states to enact strict policies with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, what makes you think the governor will open things back up for the NHL? By comparison Minnesota has many more facilities, fewer active virus cases and… well, it’s the state of hockey.
Vegas? Legit question but… how many ice rinks are in Las Vegas? Sure, the city is well situated to host the players but I’m not sold on training and ice-time availability. Ditto for Raleigh. The Hurricanes haven’t even completed construction on their new state of the art training facility. Where else will teams play if not at the Hurricanes’ PNC Arena?
Here’s an idea: Move forward with a four city proposal that keeps the league’s divisions intact. For example:
Pacific Division: Edmonton, Alberta
Central Division: St. Paul, Minnesota
Atlantic Division: Toronto, Ontario
Metropolitan Division: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania