Apparently, this announcement is not official, but with Las Vegas out as a hub city, that leaves Canada as the host for both hubs.
I guess there’s something to say for having and enforcing rules. With the rush in the United States to “re-open” the economy, there came an element of risk and it proved too much to overcome.
In the end, I am sure – and especially with the rumors that more than 75% of all NHL players didn’t want to return to play – I am certain that the NHL head office listened and decided the safer bet (and there’s no pun intended there – because it actually is safer) – was to play hockey in Canada this summer.
Although there’s been a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past month in Canada, it’s been nowhere near the record-breaking (and not in a good way) number of COVID-19 cases that have been reported in the United States.
And, it’s getting worse every day. Today, for example, those who know the facts say that it’s likely that 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 will begin to be reported every day. And we haven’t even hit the highest point of the spike yet.
Did I say this was scary?
Related: Vegas Out as a Potential Hub City?
The News Looks Good for Edmonton and Toronto
Those numbers are downright scary. So, here’s the report.
Given what’s out as the hub cities, it looks as if Edmonton and Toronto are the NHL’s choices. There are fewer issues with the safety protocol and, as I noted, it was safer.
Why Were Two Canadian Cities Chosen?
What does it mean that the Canadian cities were named hub cities? First, it’s a good sign because it looks as if the bottom line was the safety of the players.
Although Vegas is a fun town, there was going to be no fun anyway. The chance of infection and the tremendous heat of the summer would simply keep everyone inside stuck in air-conditioned rooms. There was just too much on the line to gamble – and that was a pun. The logistics seem difficult.
Edmonton is in as the western hub city, and Toronto seems to have been the choice from the beginning in eastern Canada. Why both in Canada? Simply said, the US situation seems more than a bit of a gong show. Although playing any games might be long-shot; at least in Canada, it’s possible. It would have been next to impossible in the United States.
That last note is simply that the Canadian government, for as much as some Canadians don’t approve of it, at least carries the possibility that it would make the difficult choices if things became unsafe to protect its citizens over protecting the financial aspect of sports.
COVID-19 Is a Health Issue, Not a Financial Issue
This is my personal opinion, for what it’s worth; but, Canada is treating COVID-19 for what it is – a health issue – and not entirely as a financial issue. The rules of Celebrity Apprentice no longer cut it when lives are on the line. That’s me talking as a husband, father, and grandfather.
Congratulations to Edmonton and Toronto. Now, if the other issues can be solved, we might have hockey sometime soon.
As I say, the announcement is not official and might not be for a while, but it’s sure looking like Canada’s behavior in the face of a deadly virus might have saved the day for the NHL – at least for now.