I don’t need to tell you how weird this year has been. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any less weird in 2021. From our tiny corner of the universe, consider the fact that the NHL season hasn’t started yet, and won’t start until the new year, but only if we are lucky. We don’t have a format or schedule, and it looks like we probably won’t have any Canadian teams playing in the US, or vice versa.
The way it sounds, it seems like there will be some realignment, necessitated by the closed border between the US and Canada, and there are some questions about where the games will be played if and when the season gets some legs under it.
Since a division will be confined to Canada, and if we assume quarantine conditions will be held through the end of the regular season, it seems likely that any post season would have to be in a bubble, and likely in the United States without the rigorous procedures required to get into Canada, but more practically, because most of the teams are in America. Where?
Well, I’ve made a case for Los Angeles in the past, but events of the past year have reinforced my opinion. Consider that there have been three sports that have awarded championships since the Pandemic started. There were the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup in Edmonton, but the other two were Los Angeles teams, the Lakers (winning it in Orlando) and the Dodgers (winning it Arlington).
Maybe I’m overly sentimental, but Angelinos have been able to celebrate two victories, but the championship series haven’t been in the city. Why not plan on using the Staples Center as a neutral site as a back up plan? It’s not like the Kings are going to be using it.
Hopefully, none of these machinations are going to be necessary, but if we’ve learned nothing this year, we should always have contingincies.