The NHL reportedly doesn’t want playoff teams to have the advantage of playing in their own cities when hockey returns.
Bob McKenzie of TSN reported on Thursday that the NHL doesn’t want teams playing in their own hubs. This means the Eastern and Western Conferences will likely switch.
He went on to use the example of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, writing, “That is to say if Vegas were to be a hub, the Vegas Golden Knights wouldn’t play in Vegas, they would play in the other hub. That’s the preference.”
The NHL is aware of the advantage some teams would possess if they played in their own hubs, and that wouldn’t be fair to the remaining teams. Nonetheless, McKenzie did note that there’s a possibility of both hubs being located in the Westestern Conference.
He mentioned Edmonton, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Vancouver by name, so it appears as though those four are the current favorites. Three of them are in the West and all four of these cities’ teams will be participating in the playoffs.
John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week that the NHL would announce the two hub cities this upcoming Monday.
What does this all mean for the New York Islanders and New York Rangers? Well, we already know for a fact that the pair of local teams will be playing their respective series in the same hub city since they’re both in the Eastern Conference.
If both cities end up being in the same region, that region will likely be the West, as previously mentioned. That wouldn’t affect the Islanders or Rangers considering their opponents are also Eastern Conference teams — the Panthers and Hurricanes, respectively.
Fans will be waiting for the grand reveal on Monday and to possibly acquire some more details in regards to when the season is likely to resume.