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Dater’s Daily Links: Vegas confirmed as NHL playoff hub city, but may host Eastern teams

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Vegas

Three days ago, I wrote that some “hockey people” were telling me Vegas was a done deal to be a hub city for the NHL playoffs. Late Friday night, Sportsnet reported that Vegas, indeed, will be one.

So…Vegas….quarantine….hockey….in August. This should be interesting.

What will be the Eastern hub city? My sources aren’t as good on that one. But I think the league would love to have it in Toronto if they can. That’s more of a hunch on my part than anything, but you get the feeling that the NHL would like to have the Eastern playoffs in a place like Toronto, as much for the glamour of it as much as the sound resources the city has. Obviously, Vegas has plenty of glamour, for an NHL hub city.

There is a rumor going around that Vegas might actually host the Eastern Conference teams, because the Vegas Golden Knights are among the Western playoff teams and the league doesn’t want them to be seen as having a home-ice advantage – even with no fans in the stands. Same thing if Toronto were picked, as the Maple Leafs would be in it. I guess, if that happens, it’ll just add more craziness to 2020. All the Eastern cities on the hub candidate list, in fact, would have a “home” team in the playoffs. So, maybe the Avs will be playing their postseason in a place like Toronto or Pittsburgh or Columbus or any of the others.

Links and other notes:

  • Why the Golden Knights may be a good darkhorse Cup candidate (Hockey News)
  • The Bruins had a player test positive for the virus, but he’s recovered (Boston Hockey Now)
  • Avalanche players, as part of Phase 2, will resume skating Monday at the Pepsi Center. I know of at least a couple of players who have been in Denver most or all of the time since the shutdown – Kadri and Grubauer. There are rumors that guys like MacKinnon and Landeskog are back in town too, but I don’t have that official yet.
  • I did about a one-hour Zoom session with Ray Bourque and a couple of reporters from Boston the other day, including the luminous Jimmy Murphy from our sister site, Boston Hockey Now, and it was great. I’m still waiting on the audio/video to be given to me to post, though. Bourque told some great stories, including what he told his Avs teammates before Game 6 of the 2001 Cup Finals. Bourque got emotional just recalling what he said. Good stuff. Hope I can post it here soon lol.
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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Can’t wait to hear that. Jersey could have won the Cup at home that night, lost 4-0 if I remember. Bourque scored his last goal as well, right?

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