Where will the teams play when the NHL season gets underway?
While rumors are circulating that the NHL will name Las Vegas Nevada and Toronto Canada as the two host cities for the playoffs, there is starting to be some doubt as to whether Vegas will end up as a hub city or not
In fact, between being up against a slew of other appealing host cities and the numbers of Coronavirus cases spiking in Las Vegas, some are worrying that sin city will be passed up. If that does end up happening, it would be a huge hit to the city's economy and morale.
“With Vancouver's surprise withdrawal from the hub city derby, the field is down to Las Vegas, Toronto, Edmonton, Los Angeles and Chicago,” Greg Wyshynski said during an interview with ESPN.com,” Despite climbing COVID-19 positive testing numbers in Nevada, there continues to be heavy speculation that Las Vegas will be one of the hubs”
Emily Kaplain echoed that sentiment claiming that The NHL loved Las Vegas’s setup and luxury hotels in the area. She also claims that the league is confident that they will be able to create a better bubble environment for the teams in Vegas compared to other possible host cities.
With that being said however, she offered this caveat during her interview with ESPN.com concerning the restart,” if the NHL or its players do get nervous about the prospect of going to Vegas, sources say the NHL is comfortable going with two Canadian hub cities. At this moment, that feels unlikely, but it is an option.”
This announcement comes as the NHL is two weeks away from entering phase 3 of their return to play plan, which is expected to happen sometime in July or early August. The NHL was one of many sports that were forced to suspend their season due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and are just now in the process of getting their season restarted.
When the sport does restart, it will feature a 24-team tournament that will take place in two host cities. 12 teams will be picked from both the western and Eastern conference and the top four seeds in each will get a bye week. The rest of the teams will participate in what is being described as a qualifying round, which consists of a five-game series, in order to advance to the next round.
As this is going on, the top four seeds in each conference will compete in a round robin tournament to determine their final seeding in the playoffs. Once the qualifying round is over, teams will move to a seven-game series for each of the following rounds until a champion is determined.