According to Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet on Friday, Las Vegas will be used as a hub city when the National Hockey League will be ready for the Stanley Cup playoff qualifying round and the playoffs themselves. Games will be played at the T-Mobile Arena, the host arena for the Vegas Golden Knights.
At this time, teams are slowly getting back to practices. However, these are not your traditional National Hockey League practices whatsoever. Due to strict coronavirus guidelines and measures, teams are only having players practicing in small groups (no more than six). Training camps are planning to reopen on July 1.
A lot of things still have to go right for the National Hockey League to return in August. Unfortunately, coronavirus continues to be a massive problem throughout the world, and will be until the global medical community is able to find a vaccine.
In the state of Nevada, where the NHL is planning to return, there are 10,946 cases of coronavirus and 463 deaths. Within the last week, the majority of Las Vegas casinos also reopened, and images show the majority of people within the casinos are not wearing masks.
Another problem with Vegas being the host city is the lack of practice facilities in the area. These problems are compounded when you consider the fact that players will be practicing in facilities when it is extremely hot outside.
It should also be noted that coronavirus should no longer be labeled “an old person’s disease.” Statistics are now showing more and more people who are 40 years of age or younger are now getting the disease. This makes all of the National Hockey League players who will play in the 24-team tournament susceptible to getting the disease.
The Vegas Golden Knights will not be one of the 16 teams in the qualifying round. That is because they are among the eight teams that have already qualified directly to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the regular season, the Golden Knights won the Pacific Division with a record of 39 wins, 24 regulation losses, and eight losses in extra time for 86 points. The nine other cities that are still being considered for the second hub are Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles. Minneapolis and Pittsburgh.