The NHL Board of Governors is meeting today by telephone to discuss many topics including which NHL cities might host regular season and/or playoff games if paused league on ice battles recommence this summer.
NHL Board Of Governors To Discuss Draft Date, Centralized Locations To Resume Regular Season This Week: https://t.co/n8KaQM9lvD— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) May 4, 2020
The NHL’s preference is to have one club in each of its four divisions host games for all teams in the division. Edmonton appears to be the NHL’s first choice for the Pacific Division hosting duties based upon early reports but Vancouver is in the mix.
In addition to the Oilers submitting a bid to the NHL to host games, Can also report that the Vancouver Canucks have also done so. League is going through the numerous proposals it has received.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 4, 2020
Vancouver is one of Canada’s best NHL city potential hub locations due to British Columbia’s well-handled approach to the Covid-19 crisis.
Which Canadian markets are the most likely to be "hub cities" to host NHL games? https://t.co/FoA1p7nQnB— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) May 3, 2020
All potential NHL host cities need to overcome numerous hurdles to pass the league’s requirements for consideration.
Hub cities have begun submitting proposals to the NHL, following detailed criteria asked for by the league (details below). Testing is going to be a big issue to get sorted out and the process is underway. More substantive talks planned for next week between the Oilers and AHS. pic.twitter.com/A1pgrI7n3r— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 1, 2020
All considered Canadian hub cities also face barriers in repatriating their overseas personnel. The Canada-USA border will need to be reopened and players returning will need to follow self quarantine requirements.
The NHL may face another hurdle if it decides to resume the 2019-2020 season: getting some players over the border and back to their teams. https://t.co/1SxJDkkIyj— CBC News (@CBCNews) May 4, 2020
Otherwise key Canucks’ players will remain in their birth countries perfecting their jump shots.
NHL brass may still eventually decide to cancel the regular season and give up on unique 24 team play-in type ideas and simply proceed with its usual 16 club playoff format. If that happens then it appears clear they will use winning points percentage as the determining statistic to decide upon the participants. In that case, Vancouver and Edmonton would also face off in Round One of the 2020 NHL playoffs.
#NHL WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 12, 2020
based on points percentage
1. STL .662
2. COL .657
3. DAL .594
1. VGK .606
2. EDM .585
3. VAN .565
1. NSH .565
2. CGY .564
3. WPG .563
4. MIN .558
5. ARI .529
If Vancouver wins the hub city competition now then they would technically also wrestle the home city designation away from Edmonton. It would be sweet if Canucks’ fans who live near Rogers Arena banged their pots and pans loud enough to be heard within the building when their beloved blue-and-green team bent the mesh inside. It would send the message to Bo Horvat and crew that while their fans are unable to be physically inside the arena with them that they are still with them in spirit. Maybe that would turn out to be the extra push the young bucks need for complete success. Dare Vancouver fans dream of a virtual parade down Robson Street some time in September?
There are many barriers to Vancouver being anointed as one of the NHL’s selected host hub cities. The final and most important one is British Columbian super-heroine Covid-19 protector Dr. Bonnie Henry. She will have to carefully weigh the potential economic benefits for a hurting local economy against the potential health risks of a resurgent virus. If she ends up as the final arbiter and decides to give a thumbs-up go-ahead to the plan then it could brighten up the summer for Canucks’ fans everywhere and especially within Vancouver.