Talks surrounding a 2020-21 NHL season have reportedly begun and may surround rotating 31 NHL teams around four different bubbles.
According to John Shannon, who released the report Monday, said as of now “there’s no indication if all the cities would be in Canada.”
Hearing the NHL and PA have had preliminary talks about next season. One proposal is to create 4 bubble cities, and rotating all 31 teams in those venues in 8 game increments.
At present, there’s no indication if all the cities would be in Canada.
But makes the most sense.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) August 24, 2020
I’m one to agree with Shannon on this. Canada’s still doing a fine job of controlling overall COVID-19 cases numbers much better than that of the USA. Sunday, the US reported a total of 36,422 new cases while Canada had only 502 new cases.
The league is likely going to be eyeballing a Dec. 1 start for the following season which in all honesty isn’t a very long time at all.
Until there’s a vaccine, there won’t be any fans in arenas and we’ve already seen that happening in nearly all pro sports leagues. It’s the right move in trying to limit the spread of COVID-19.
One thing we’re starting to see is this: strict bubbles work. The NHL has had no positive cases and neither has the NBA. Three players, Rishaun Holmes, Lou Williams and Bruno Caboclo, left the NBA bubble and each was forced into quarantine
For the NHL, having players in the bubble next season is going to be the best thing they could do to ensure the health and safety of all the players, coaches, and staff members in the league. It’s proving it’s working already.
With that being said, there’s a lot that’ll be going into determining the best way to bubble the league.
The NHL could go the route like NBA in Orlando by putting all the teams in one city. There, NBA teams play on three separate courts.
In the NHL, the league could put all their players in a place like New York City and utilize the many arenas in the area. Toronto could be an option, too, with Scotiabank Arena and the Coca-Cola Coliseum nearby.
Edmonton, in theory, could work too using Rogers Place and the downtown arena. Hey, maybe the league could utilize the old Rexall Place with some touchups, too.
The other option the league has is going with the route suggested in the Shannon route placing bubbles in multiple NHL cities. In Canada, the low cases numbers would be a certain attractant much like it was in creating the Edmonton and Toronto Bubbles. The league could use Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, for example, and have the teams rotate around between the four.
Nonetheless, it’s going to be really interesting to see how the league goes about the 2020-21 NHL Season.
On Twitter: @zjlaing