12 weeks have passed since the COVID-19 epidemic stopped American sports. Vulcanized rubber now looks quite tasty for poorly fed fans.
So there was a flood of delicious news on Tuesday afternoon when NHL Commissioner Gary Batman appeared in a video (it looks like it was from his dining room) and outlined plans for a resumption of the league.
“If” is the most important word Batman used: the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association agreed on a play-off format when they returned to the ice. Dr. Paraphrasing Anthony Fawcett will make the final decision on the virus.
The 24 (out of 31) who came to play for the Stanley Cup have blue jackets. So they said they have a chance. Also, Columbus is one of ten cities that is considered one of the two “hub” cities where groups stay apart for up to four months. If they can get back on the ice.
In each of these centers:
The teams will gather for training camp. A round robin tournament (the four best teams in each conference) and a selection round (the best five series for the other eight teams in each conference) are played for seeds. And the first and second rounds of the playoffs are played.
Batman told NBCSN that the conference finals and cup finals are unlikely to be held in the team’s hometowns. It depends on the virus. At the moment, the semifinals will probably be in two centers and the final will be played in one of them. If they can get back on the ice.
In addition to Columbus, Chicago, Dallas, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Minneapolis / St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver.
The League weighs three criteria for each city: the state of the epidemic (how wide?); Official regulations (are there restrictions on assembly?); And test availability (must have).
Columbus is a center where it is not difficult to develop such a scene. If they can get back on the ice.
In Canada, it was decided that anyone entering the country should be separated for 14 days. Batman and his deputy, Bill Daly, said Canada could not be a center if the order remained. Cross Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver.
Chicago’s Cook County ranks fourth in COVID-19, and Los Angeles County ranks fourth. Check out two more cities.
Let’s just say – and we don’t know for sure, but realize it – one of the hubs will be the Western Conference City and the other the Eastern Conference City. If so, it’s west and east, between Pittsburgh and Columbus, between subtropical Dallas, the Vegas Desert, and Minneapolis / St. Paul’s.
So you can guess that Columbus has 50:50 shots from the east center. And with two NHL courtyards, Nationwide and Standard City, it could provide compelling reasoning under the same management umbrella. Without fans on the stand, the tournament becomes a TV outsider – and two well-equipped arenas are better than one.
Columbus has several team-controlled chiller practice facilities, a cluster of nearby high-end hotels and a footprint that makes it easy to get around.
Then again. … Canada will probably repeal its separate rules and make Toronto the center of the hockey world. Every day something changes.
Take the first criterion, the COVID-19 condition of the candidate cities. The more you test, the more positive cases you will get. Is this a good thing for a potential center? Number of Franklin Counties – More than 5,400 confirmed cases due to virus concentration in local prisons? How do Batman’s lawyers count?
Logistics Essential: Twelve teams in one city, each with a tour group of 50 people – they all stay in one place for a week. Someone fell ill.
How many lawsuits need to be raised before classifying the entire company as very dangerous? What about support workers who may have health problems that make it even more vulnerable? Is there enough testing somewhere?
The NHL and NHLPA have a billion reasons to be on TV again this summer. If you can.
I hope you can. I’m not optimistic.