Vegas is expected to be named the Eastern Conference hub city, according to the latest NHL news.
According to the latest NHL news from Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnson, the NHL will name Las Vegas as one of the two hub cities for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL hasn’t announced it yet but an announcement should be done either before or on the 22nd of June.
Once again, it always seemed like Vegas was a lock due to the infrastructure it has to support 12 hockey teams. Vegas is an amazing place to put hockey players in an isolation bubble for a period of two to three months due to Hotels, resorts, restaurants, and weather. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas is keeping several hotels open for the NHL.
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Due to the fact, the NHL doesn’t want any home-ice advantage to be construed, the Vegas Golden Knights will not play in Vegas and thus, it has been decided that Vegas will be home to the Eastern Conference. This, of course, assumes Vegas is named a hub city, which is expected.
T-Mobile Arena will be home to Eastern Conference play-in series and round-robin if play is able to resume and the estimated date would be the first week of August. There are already quite a few fans on the east coast who aren’t happy with the fact they might have to tune in at 11 pm to watch a game. The west coast is the opposite with fans needing to wake up early to catch a game at 11 am.
The NHL is still working on the second hub city and they are pushing heavily for a Canadian city. The major hurdle is the 14 day quarantine period imposed by the Canadian government to anyone who enters the country. Reports surfaced that the NHL and the Canadian government are working on an agreement that could bypass that period but it has not been confirmed yet.
Weeks ago we heard Jason Kenney send a letter to prime minister Justin Trudeau pushing him to make an exception for the NHL. He thinks Edmonton would be a great 2nd hub city and Edmonton is still in the running with the two other major Canadian cities Toronto and Vancouver. Expect an announcement on the 22nd as mentioned but most recently Trudeau has gone on record saying he won’t make any exceptions up to this point.
Phase 3 is scheduled for July 10 barring any emergency circumstance or disagreement by health officials. The teams will have to report to a mandatory training camp for a period that is still being negotiated. After that apparently it’s two exhibition games and off to the races we go.
This is a great win for Vegas who was probably one of the cities that was hit the hardest by the shut down of the economy. The city of entertainment has slowly started reopening and we will have to keep an eye on how everything goes. Vegas from now till July 10th will be under the microscope of the NHL and it’s health officials to see how the numbers are in regards to cases.
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Once again another huge step for the NHL in its plan to return to play and hopefully award the Stanley Cup.