LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Now that the NHL is in Phase 2 of its “Return to Play” plan, the league needs to soon decide where the Stanley Cup Playoffs will take place. According to sources Las Vegas is quickly rising to the top of the list.
The NHL chose 10 cities as possible locations and announced that two sites will serve as “hubs”. NHL Insider Chris Johnson believes the decision has been made and Las Vegas will be one of the hub cities.
As of Monday afternoon, the NHL had still not started narrowing down the list of potential hub cities from 10, according to a source. That should happen in the near future with commissioner Gary Bettman having previously indicated that he’d like to decide on the two hosts somewhere around the middle of June.
Ideally the NHL would like to include a Canadian city in its return-to-play plans to go with Las Vegas, which is widely viewed as the favourite among U.S.-based choices. There’s comfort and familiarity with Toronto after how smoothly things went logistically during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and both Edmonton and Vancouver boast low coronavirus infection rates in addition to their amenities.
Sportsnet is tweeting that the deal is done and that Las Vegas has already been chosen as a site for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
What would happen with the Vegas Golden Knights, winners of the Pacific Division this season remains to be seen? Most feel it’s unlikely the Knights would not be allowed to play on their home ice in Vegas, even though fans would not be allowed to attend games.