With the NHL possibly ready to begin the next reopening phase, the New York Rangers may use Connecticut’s XL Center to practice and play.
News of the NHL preparing to initiate the next phase of its pause has the New York Rangers possibly looking at Hartford, Connecticut’s XL Center to practice and potentially play games.
Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant reported the news on Friday. The XL Center is home to the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers’ affiliate team.
The Courant is garnering the news from both Madison Square Garden officials and XL Center representatives. Both venues are currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Should the NHL resume activities, a training camp would be necessary. This would be the case regardless of how the restart occurs, as the league may finish out the regular season or possibly undergo a 24-team tournament to award this year’s Stanley Cup.
The Rangers had just 12 regular-season games remaining when the league suspended the season back in March.
Currently, the threat of the ongoing COVID-19 situation has different regions of New York State opening at different times. Governor Andrew Cuomo stated earlier on Friday that based on the current numbers, downstate would not begin Phase 1 of reponing when the restrictions end on Friday, May 15.
This would mean the Rangers training facility in Tarrytown, New York and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan would probably not be viable locations to resume hockey operations.
Madison Square Garden officials are declining to comment at this time.