New York City would have been a perfect NHL playoff bubble city

New York could have been the perfect host city for the NHL postseason, but the timing was terrible.

March 10th was the last time I was able to watch a live hockey game, but that will change in a few days. August is usually a month of enjoying summer while it lasts with beach trips and barbecues. This year it’s the year of the NHL postseason.

Granted these aren’t normal playoffs by any means. Gone are the arenas of thousands of passionate fans as we see teams enter two separate “bubbles” north of the border.

Toronto and Vancouver won in the end, and the NHL is expected to give those cities a nice economic boost.  The city best suited for an NHL hub would have been New York City, so why weren’t they chosen?

Obviously the answer is that when the NHL first made their list of 10 possible hub cities, New York City was the epicenter of the United States. Thankfully, that has since changed, and the NHL made some changes too. Vegas was almost certainly going to be a hub city. That was until the NHL reversed course when Vegas became an epicenter of its own.

New York had everything the NHL could ever hope to have in a host city. Between their three NHL teams, the most in any metro area in the league, the immediate surrounding area has three NHL rinks. New York has four rinks if you want to count the Barclays Center. Imagine how easy scheduling the vast amount of games would have been. New York already has enough hotel rooms.

In addition, everything would be close to league headquarters that could have acted as a “home base” for the tournament. The league offices would even become part of “the bubble” while cutting down on traveling. Commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly already said they won’t be traveling to Canada for the first round of games. If the games had been in New York it would have been odd not to see them in attendance.

So why did the NHL completely pass over New York even when it turned its back on Vegas? The reason is likely logistics. The NHL probably had some sort of preparation ready for all ten teams initially on the hub city list, regardless off they were being chosen.

Think for example a city that seemed like a long shot bid, such as Dallas or Pittsburgh. The NHL definitely at least had some hotels in mind and some preliminary discussions with arena personnel in those cities, as well as local governments.

Speaking of governments, both New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the two states where the New York area hockey team reside, welcomed fan-less sports leagues to return.

Next: Predicting Each Team's Future Hall of Famers

 

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Luckily, for us hockey fans the NHL has a complete plan in place for the season to resume. Even if New York would have been the perfect place for some hockey, we’re are thrilled to see the sport come back. Even if all the action is north of the border.

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