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How An Impractical Idea By The NHL Has Dragged Las Vegas Through The Mud

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For months, since the idea of hub cities was brought to the forefront, Vegas was widely considered the best option for the league. Every major reporter, be it national or local, declared Las Vegas to be the city with the best accommodations to deliver on the utopian bubble-world the NHL was seeking.

The problem is, the NHL doesn’t actually believe in their own irrational idea and the image of Las Vegas is getting unnecessarily slammed worldwide because of it.

The plan the NHL has laid out is to bring 12 teams from each conference to one central location in order to play out the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and crown a team a champion. (Really, they just want the money that goes along with the event, but we’ll let that go for now.) Each “hub city” will house all 12 teams through the first two playoff rounds and then presumably the winners from one site will travel to the other to wrap up the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final.

The idea sounds amazing. Lock everyone in a specific area, test them all at the beginning to ensure everyone is healthy and COVID-19 free, and then have them all live there so no one is at risk of contracting the virus. Since there were to be no fans in the arenas anyway, playing every game at a neutral site is also a great way to limit travel, testing, and staff to tend to the games.

Here’s the issue and why it’s unnecessarily dragged Vegas through the mud. If the concept of the bubble actually worked, the surrounding areas wouldn’t make any difference. Once the bubble is “sealed” even if every person in the city in which its located gets infected, everyone inside the bubble is safe. Literally, the reason the term “bubble” is used.

But, if it is indeed true that Las Vegas is no longer being considered due to a spike in cases in the city, which has been written or said by pretty much everyone despite no official word on of it, then the league has proven they do not believe in their own concept. Instead, what they believe is that people will slip out of the bubble, others will slip in, and when it happens they want to limit the possibility of a bubble defector or bubble invaders contracting the virus. (Actually, they want to create the perception that they did everything in their power to avoid the inevitable from happening so they aren’t liable when it does, but we’ll let that go for now.)

So, in their fear of defectors and intruders, they’ve gone above and beyond to weed out cities that appear to have higher numbers of positive tests. Somehow, Vegas became one of those cities on the outs, despite being the only city on the NHL’s list to have actually held sporting events since the shutdown. The UFC has been holding events in Las Vegas since late May and has hosted 110 fighters over five different fight cards without a single case of Coronavirus to an athlete. The NHL though, believes there are too many cases and are instead creating both bubbles in Canada.

This unequivocally proves that the concept of the bubble is viewed as untrustworthy by the league. In a utopian world, there would be no defectors nor intruders and a negative test at the beginning would carry through the entirety of the playoffs as everyone is locked safely and soundly inside the bubble.

But utopia doesn’t exist and unfortunately, Las Vegas is paying for the half-baked idea that was concocted in the name of safety in the first place. (Actually, the hub city idea was likely pitched and ultimately accepted because it is financially much more viable than traveling and testing in buildings that won’t be making money off gate revenue, but we’ll let that go for now.)

Vegas, as the supposed front-runner solely because it does indeed boast the best hospitality industry on the globe, had everything to lose, and it appears the city has lost it. The national storyline is that the spread of the virus makes it too dangerous to go to Vegas. Even though, the real storyline is that the NHL doesn’t trust their own system and thus have to locate their ridiculous unrealistic non-utopia world to a cheaper different city.

Las Vegas looks terrible in the eyes of the entire sports world. Those paying attention might understand that there’s a lot more to the decision than a simple increase in positive cases (at least there better be), but to most, it just looks like Vegas lost control. This city, more than any other in the entire world, thrives on its image. People must believe that Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world; the best place to spend those hard-earned vacation hours and bonuses. If Vegas isn’t viewed as safe, it will never rebound from the economic collapse that was instituted to stop the virus in the first place.

Every headline, every story, every tweet, will point to a rise in cases which comes with the horrible subplot of “Vegas is not safe.” Maybe Vegas isn’t safe, but that’s a much different issue than “can it host the NHL’s bubble.” (Actually, it might not be safe as we’re still seeming to have a hard time getting everyone to follow the rules despite the Governor screaming at us at his press conferences, but we’ll let that go for now.)

All that should matter is whether or not the city can create a sealed bubble, something no city can reasonably do because it’s physically impossible. And because of their lack of belief in a ridiculous concept, the NHL not choosing Vegas now comes with a PR nightmare that no other city is experiencing despite similar issues in numbers of positive tests.

Anger towards the city and state’s response to controlling the virus is perfectly fair and probably warranted, but the city experiencing a barrage of negative publicity because of an ill-conceived idea from the NHL is complete, pardon my French, bullshit.

If Vegas never submitted a bid, this wouldn’t be an international story. If Vegas wasn’t such an incredible place with unbelievable accommodations for visitors, this wouldn’t be an international story. And if the NHL actually believed in the idea of a bubble city, this wouldn’t be an international story.

The story isn’t how Las Vegas is a COVID-ridden hotbed spiraling out of control, the story is the NHL used Las Vegas to create the perception of safety around an idea they know doesn’t make practical sense in a pair of other cities that are undoubtedly cheaper.

And along the way, whether intentional or not, they launched a Las Vegas smear campaign. A smear campaign that needs to stop or at least be redirected to the real issue at hand.

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93 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    throwing the baby out with the bath water is common theme in Bettman’s NHL “utopian” mindset.

  2. Mikegron32

    Ken thanks for preaching the truth in a world that continues lose their freaking minds. A good comparison is the NBA that has never waiver’d on its commitment to the “bubble” in Orlando even as cases in Florida exploded. I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said (and left alone).
    I will now sit back and wait for this thread to fill up with Covid comment insanity in 3…2…1..

  3. Mart

    “Woke Kenny” is my favorite Kenny.

  4. @tony21ny

    All is right in the world, all 31 teams can once again legitimately BOOO Gary bettman again.

  5. Heather

    My thoughts were that we did not have enough ice to accommodate practices for 12 teams. There are only 6 sheets of ice in the city right now (LVIC x 2, Pepsi/Sobe x 1, CNA x 2, and T-mobile x 1). I supposed MGM and Mandalay Bay could add a sheet of ice if they wanted to, as well as the Orleans Arena as another viable option, but just for practicing purposes, meh…not really economical. I believe we are best suited to accommodate all the teams and their staff in the hotels available here, with the ability to block off entire hotels or floors, use conference rooms for team meals or in room dining. Other cities might actually struggle with this, but I don’t blame the NHL one bit for overlooking us due to our spike in numbers. I’d rather see the teams playing with healthy players rather than a limited roster due to possible infection. Safety and health first.

    • VGK Fan

      It never made sense to have Vegas be a hub city because of the ice rink issue. Hotels can be found anywhere, ice rinks not so much. It was always going to be a Canadian city with 4 times the ice complexes. Nice Ice rinks too, with 3 to 4 sheets of ice apiece, 20 minutes apart. Throwing a tantrum and making excuses because logistically Vegas really doesn’t make sense doesn’t make the fan base here look any better. But you have to take fact that the US has riots and skyrocketing COVID numbers right now into consideration also.

  6. Douglas MacLeod

    I don’t recall you being opposed to the bubble concept previously, but please correct me if I am wrong because right now it just looks like sour grapes.
    Were there other issues which are not being disclosed? In your podcast, you commented on the lack of data and transparency on the part of the respective government bodies.
    What is the status of hospital beds and icu facilities? These are the most crucial stats as they indicate the ability to deal with any serious cases that arise as well as any non Covid hospitalization required.
    In Vancouver, it was a disagreement as to dealing with a positive case that scuttled the deal.

    • Admittedly I did not immediately oppose the bubble concept when I first heard about it. Like many, to me at first it sounded like a great idea. But as we discussed it on the podcasts I began to realize how insanely stupid it is. I first started to question it in a podcast a few weeks ago while Vegas was still the leader. This is not sour grapes, it’s using logical thinking to realize that utopia doesn’t exist.

      • A Fan

        This no games in LV will all make more sense to (almost) everyone this coming Monday, July 6th.

        • No sure what difference it makes – LV is out and should be – selfish, stubborn and stupid people running around without masks only thinking of themselves – so what’ new – nothing. I am certain one of those THREE “S” individuals will reply and suggest just stay home – that’s only one solution masks are another and apply to all if you listen to the news, the governor, the CDC etc. Stop being such jerks – I hate to bring you the bad news but the world does not revolve around you.

          • Daryl

            Like you said, if you don’t like people not wearing masks, then stay home. Your Governor cannot legally make anyone wear a mask in public. Are you wearing an N95 or P100 since those are the only two masks that actually stop the spread? And even that, they only cover your nose and mouth. What about your ears and eyes? Also, are you wearing a new mask every time you go out. If not you are just spreading the virus yourself. And those cloth masks are practically useless. One more thing, are you wearing gloves when you go out? Those masks you are so worried about aren’t doing you any good if you just touch your face after being out in public. You can also just stay 6′ away from everyone since CDC has stated the particles from your mouth only travel 6 feet.

            You say staying home is only 1 solution. We’ll wearing a mask is only 1 also. Unless you are doing more why do either? Either go all out or don’t bitch about what others are doing

      • Kenny Sucks

        LMAO! Sure Kenny!

    • Doktor Hockey

      I agree coach. If Ken would have actually read some of the articles out there, with authors who HAVE talked with the NHL. One issue was that in Edmonton (and Toronto) the league will control the restaurants & areas, WITH workers employed by the NHL who will STAY “in the bubble”. Vegas & the hotels considered said NO to this. I could go on & on how the casinos were not enforcing the masks for guests, that was mandated before they were allowed to re-open. There’s more not mentioned, but it’s time for my nap. The last thing: Once again sinbin reverses course, when they see chance at a storyline. BUT, like usual Ken has never submitted ANY plan, while he criticizes all others!

      • A VGK Fan

        I agree with you Doc. Ken whines all day, but doesnt actually have any replacement plans. He might as well run for congress!

      • Masks were not mandated before casinos opened. Masks were mandated after several casinos had already opened on i believe June 24.

  7. The Noodle King

    #SpicyKenny
    #LetThatGoForNowx3

    All that pent up demand to come to Vegas and cut loose has not helped our cause.

  8. Mike StG

    I think the theory of utopia, defectors and intruders is way off base. The advantages pitched by MGM included not just a bubble but also that they were a one stop shop and MGM could coordinate everything. What sank Vegas was the spike and the fact that the employees entering the bubble (hotel, f&b staff, etc) could not be isolated for months. They’d be living in the community at large where spread of the virus was becoming a big issue (currently the fastest in the country per RJ reporting). Hotel and other workers in Edmonton will not be isolated either but community spread is next to nothing there, as is the number of cases. So the risk posed by local workers entering the bubble is substantially less and the decision became obvious. This wasn’t about players sneaking out, or locals sneaking in.

    • Doktor Hockey

      Hey Mike and others. For a more accurate description of WHY Edmonton was picked over Vegas …. Go to “The Athletic” and read yesterdays story by Michael Russo. It will help clear some of this mis-information up. Just trying to be helpful here. Tks, DOC

      • Mike StG

        Doc, that’s where I got my info. The problem with Vegas became the concern that employees of MGM would NOT be in the bubble and community spread was becoming a serious issue here. I’m fine with the decision. Russo also revealed that the MGM plan was to use Park MGM as the hotel (not Vdara or Delano as rumored). Given the NHL wanted NO gaming that would’ve meant no casino ops at Park until probably October. My wife works in gaming at Park so she would certainly have lost her job since MGM said employees not called back by Aug 31st will be terminated. At least now she might retain her job. 🙂

      • Charles

        Problem is In Order to “go to the Athletic” you have to pay to read their stories. No thanks.

    • Lisa M

      You got in Mike. The hotel workers can’t live in the bubble and while you can limit contact with hotel staff, it’s even better if there is lower chance those workers were exposed in the greater community.

  9. davy jones

    thats great how you ignored that the rise in coronaviirus cases was caused by the the black live matter protests

    • Mike StG

      Jesus Christ, politics? How about the fact that half the community was walking around inside stores & markets NOT wearing masks for the past 3 months? Three days of protestors outdoors mostly wearing masks… I don’t think so. Dumb ass.

      • Nye Guy

        LOLOLOL its been one of the funniest things Ive ever experienced watching the politicization of black folks in relation to this virus. First, when European cities were hit hard, all of black twitter was ‘we cayne get it yall…cracka-ass disease hahaha’. Then two weeks later, OMG THIS IS DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTING THE POC COMMUNITY AAARGGHHH, then, two weeks later, tens of thousands amassing shoulder to shoulder and rioting (with full woke corporate approval) apparently doesnt spread Covid AT ALL, YOU RACISTS.. Its the first miracle of the Saint Floyd religion and this spike is clearly from colonial boomers at the beach. Meanwhile, whats the death rate? What a fucking clown world. Nothing is real anymore.

        • Bob Loblaw

          You are correct nothing is real.

          We live in the Matrix, actually.

          What your choice literally comes down to is, do you take the red pill or do you take the blue pill?

          If you choose nether, well, ignorance is bliss I suppose. And that too ultimately still results in a Matrix reality for yourself.

        • Mike StG

          While I don’t really care about BLM some of your comments are patently ridiculous. Such as claiming Black Twitter was mocking Covid effects on white people in Europe. Also your suggesting that BLM is about Covid – it’s about black folks getting killed by police unnecessarily. It’s all in living color on video for us to see again and again. I’m not black so it doesn’t affect me personally. But you are adding to the problem by trashing what the majority of Americans believe is a social issue that needs to be redressed. Stop the ‘whataboutism’ and false characterizations, just face the problem for what it is.

          • Nye Guy

            1) I read the posts. They were widely circulated in meme compilations and were both from Africans proper, as the virus ravaged Italy, and African Americans as it creeped over here.
            2) You know what else is on video for all to see? Black folks mobbing, beating, stabbing whites left and right. World Star! How many unarmed blacks were killed by cops last year in over fifty million police encounters? Nine. There were sixteen whites killed. This is about nothing.
            3) If this past few months has shown anything its that the majority of Americans are stupid and brainwashed as shit if we can go from OMG PLAGUE YAAALLLL…ISOLATE AND DESTROY THE ECONOMY ITS THE ONLY WAY to WE MUST FLOOD THE STREETS WITH HUMANS BECAUSE OF THIS STATISTICAL OUTRAGE THAT THE MATH DOESNT SUPPORT lol. The IQ of the Average American has to hover just above shit flinging tier.

          • Daryl

            Problem with BLM is they are protesting based on false information. Mike says he sees it time and time again but when was the last time you saw a white person killed by the police publicized? Considering almost 3x as many white people are killed by police why aren’t any of those plastered all over the internet? Because nobody cares. I know this is about hockey and even sports and not political, these protests have been a cause of huge increases in COVID. While a lot of these protesters are wearing masks, a majority of them are just wearing something similar to a shirt which is basically useless

            Now, as for the increase in COVID cases, the reason we have an increase in cases is simply because more and more people are getting tested. What I’m concerned about is the death rate from COVID which is dropping day by day

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, only Trump and his scared GOP congressional backers spout the BS that more testing is why more cases. So why are Texas and Arizona hospitals maxing out their ICUs? Because there is more testing?? Or because there are more cases?? Use your head and stop listening to the propaganda. It’s good the mortality rate is going down, but when cases & hospitalizations are increasing at the current rate the deaths will continue to increase with them. Why do we represent around 5% of the world’s population but have 25% of the Covid deaths? If you or your family were medical workers maybe it would mean more to you than a throwaway line. As far as BLM, if you don’t have the facts by now on the disparity of treatment and incarcerations of minorities then you’ll probably never get them. Talk about a bubble!

          • Daryl

            Mike
            Talk about living in your own bubble and listening to propaganda…. I don’t know about the states you listed, but for NC, WV, FL, Bama, SC, and Georgia… COVID cases have spike since the availability of the tests became available. The majority of those testing positive are younger and are asymptomatic. NONE of the hospitals in those states are coming close to reaching capacity and the death rate in every one of those states had lowered.

            And ss far as BLM, stop watching CNN. There are problems with our judicial system but most of the rest of the BS they are spouting isn’t actually true

          • Daryl

            Mike,
            And for the record I am an Independent and not a huge fan of Trump. I was also a medic for 12 years. Yes the increase in cases is due to the number of tests being taken. And if you listen to Democrats, the virus is a lot deadlier than what it is. If you, or people in general, are that worried about it, then stay home

          • Mike StG

            Adm Brett Giroir MD today: “There is no question that the more testing you get, the more you will uncover. But we do believe this is a real increase in cases, because the percent positivities are going up, so this is real increases in cases.” You can see him on video today (check the internet if you like). Maybe you’d know this if you stopped watching FoxNews, whose hosts by the way called Covid a nothing virus and even hoax for months Jan-Mar. Also, while younger people are more often asymptomatic, they also spread the virus much more than previously thought. Believe what you want. Minimize 130,000 deaths of your fellow citizens to suit your denial of reality, or perhaps they didn’t die at all right? Just a plot by MSM, like they faked the moon landing in the 60’s. Lol. And deny the legitimacy of racial issues if you like, so you can perpetuate the notion of big, scary black men out to get you, etc etc. Pathetic.

          • Daryl

            Mike,
            You are nothing but a hypocrite. You say we have a right to our opinions then call us names if we don’t agree with you. My opinion comes from the line of work I currently do. I am a police officer so I’m out there day and night dealing with this virus. My views come from first hand experiences. I was also a medic for a little over 11 years. Per the CDC if you stay 6′ away you will be fine so there is no reason for the masks.

            As for Trump and being President, he is President b/c the democratic party put up Clinton. More then likely he will be Preside t again b/c his running made is a joke.

  10. #ItisaMajor It could’ve been easily handled by Vegas with minimal risk. I know at the Wynn they are overboard and overbearing with sanitation and everything else COVID related. Wynn and Encore couldve handled all of teams, staffs and families. The resort has everthing in one place. You can guarantee that MGM was trying to gouge the league. I wish they would reconsider this city. We need it more than any other.

  11. A VGK Fan

    Ken, in your comment you seem to be “letting go” of a few things. Too bad you won’t let go of your horrible attitude and writing style, and your personal feelings about how “it makes Las Vegas looks bad.” Its as if NHL changing their plans was a personal affront to you, and this entire article is you being butthurt about it. Whether the hub is here or somewhere else, it doesnt matter. We are gonna have to watch it on TV anyway. So stop your whining. Also, Reaves is much more valuable to the team than you give him credit for.

    • Reavo75

      YA……SO THERE……TAKE THAT……!!!

      • Doktor Hockey

        OMG “A VGK FAN” ….. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Finally someone else recognizing what I have for a year now. But when I dare say something like this I get jumped on by the sinbin minions. Ken has value as a writer when he mainly sticks to numbers. That’s his strength. He may be still stewing over Revos new contract! 😉

  12. 1. This is absolutely about money. If the NHL does not restart successfully their future, moreso than every other major professional league in North America, is in jeopardy. As a business, the league has EVERYTHING to lose. So why wouldn’t they go to Canada, where they can conceivably save 35% in operating costs?

    2. The health and safety of every employee has been at the forefront of anywhere I have EVER worked in the 35 years of my working life. As time goes on it has become even more important. Why is a decision like this so hard to fathom, when the employee is the commodity?

    3. As far as “smearing Vegas”, I think the mayor has done a fine job of that. Besides, Vegas will recover, it holds a unique position/reputation in the world, and just like everywhere else in the world, it will recover.

    When all is said and done this is a business decision. Businesses are risk averse, why wouldn’t the NHL decide that Canada offers a safer environment than Las Vegas, despite the apparent advantages the city seems to offer? Why would a business turn their back on the economic advantages of paying 65 cents on the dollar? The NHL is doing everyone right by making this decision, any comment otherwise is simply and clearly sour grapes.

  13. Vegas is fine.
    The NHL wanted Toronto all alomg as it’s the hockey hub.Edmonton factors in cause of their building being the Rogers Centre.Any North American city didn’t have a chance.
    If it means anything…take heart in knowing that now the league will need a ice making plant outside of the building in Toronto cause of the humidity.They’ll be sorry they didn’t go to Phoenix or Vegas.

    • Bob32

      An ice making plant outside the arena? WTF.

      Do you have any idea how ice is made?

  14. Tim

    I think the whole thing boils down to money. I’m not a bean counter but when the Beaver Buck is only worth 73 cents of the U.S. dollar that seems to say it all. Let’s face it The Knights stand alone with our short successful in less then 3 years the other 30 teams can’t stand it and I really want to win the Cup just to really piss them off. All this bullshit we haven’t paid our dues the answer to that is smart owner and management team trumps the stupid moves that keeps most teams from getting much better. How many #1 and #2 picks have Buffalo and Edmonton have in the last 5 years and still can’t make the playoffs?

    • The Knights were gifted good players and Draft picks. Their success isn’t because of stellar management. More like stupid management by a handful of teams and extremely favorable expansion draft rules.

      Seattle will get the same benefits for their expansion draft & may also reap the benefits of stupid GMs trying to undo their own mistakes.

      Getting MA Fleury is really what put Vegas into a top position,. You can thank Pittsburgh’s management for most of their success. Otherwise Vegas is just a bubble playoffs team, if not a lottery team.

      • Mike StG

        Well, these comments belie your contempt for Vegas. Talk about sour grapes!! The last franchise fee was $80M. Foley paid $500M. If you pay that kind of fee you shouldn’t have to be a cellar dweller for half a decade. Blame the Owners. And to say they were gifted anything is ridiculous. 3rd and 4th line players mostly. One first round draft pick and that was not even a top 5 – Pettersson, Heiskanen, Makar, Hischier all went in that group. Get over the resentment. And if you think Vegas is a bubble team at best, then your prejudices are getting the best of you.

      • Tim

        Bob woulda coulda shoulda but the fact is were not a bubble team for many reasons. Not all went well we picked 6th in the expansion draft should have been higher but with smart moves picking up 2 more firsts which we turned into Stone and Patch was just shrewd business decisions. We also picked up some bad contracts and some unknowns like Wild Bill and Marshy plus Pittsburgh thought Flower was done. Just like this year we get Chandler Stephenson for a 5th round draft choice again smart management. The bottom line is were set up for years to come and that’s all that counts wouldn’t you agree. There’s no way Seattle will come close to having an expansion team like we did.

    • Matt

      Yea but things cost more in Canadian dollars so it’s not actually cheaper to buy stuff with Canadian dollars…

      • The main point I’m trying to make is that the whole thing definitely does not boil down only to rising number of cases. There’s so much more at play but because people are so focused on COVID there’s no one trying to find out the real reasons behind it.

        • Ken : What difference does it make anyway. Here or there – no fans in arena regardless – what’s behind their decision is actually irrelevant whatever the reasons behind it. It is what it is and that’s that. Just complete the season and bring the cup to Vegas. As far as smearing Vegas the residences have done a fairly good job because of their selfish, stubborn and stupid attitude regarding what, going on with actually no good reason or excuse for acting in that manner. That is the truth of the matter unfortunately.

  15. Vegas sucks

    Outside of the strip Vegas is a S#@thole. Even the strip is an overpriced, glorified tourist trap. There is hundreds of other cities, destinations I’d choose over Vegas.

  16. Walt T

    The fault lies at the feet of Sisolak as he ignores 1/2 of the science the way the climate lunatics do. Nobel prize winning Stanford scientist Professor Levitt indicates one side is being silenced and censored (The Lindau Group, the Natl Academy of Science and the Royal Society for example). Sisolak would be better educated on the huge spike in testing, the high percentage of false positives, the ongoing low numbers of ICU and ventilators, the stable death rate, the falling overall percentage of fatalities, the younger population testing positive and shorter hospital stays. There could have been an honest debate and education instead of politics which ruins everything. Now let’s cancel this season and get on track for training camp in September. Vegas will survive the lost revenue and exposure the tournament could have provided. Elon says take the red pill.

  17. Porkleaker

    Edmonton is a safer bet, in Vegas you’ve got casinos, hookers and blow everywhere, Plus nobody wants to watch stupid Golden Knights type intros before every game, you know, the ones that no other team does and last for like 20 fucking mins.

  18. Willy Andara

    Ken and all you guys with the it’s cheaper in Canada angle are incredibly stupid. You think everything is priced exactly the same in Canada as the US, so it’s cheaper north of the border? Wow such stupidity. Toronto is one of the world’s most expensive cities and Edmonton is more expensive than Las Vegas. And oh yeah, in case you all forgot, every NHL player is paid their salary in US dollars no matter where they play.

    • Bob Loblaw

      Hmmmmm……For some reason, but….. I ……just…… can’t…… put…… my……. finger….. on…… it…… that there is a thriving film & tv industry thriving North of the border.

      Couldn’t possibly be the cheaper Canuck krone, could it? Naw….

  19. Bob Loblaw

    If anything, this probably benefits a small city like Edmonton way more than it would benefit any large city. No for economic reasons, but for publicity. So good for them.

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5559032

    Anything else is, like I said, sour grapes.

  20. Stu

    The concern with Vegas was mainly the staff coming and going. That combined with increasing infection rates in the area can cause the whole thing to shut down. I also think there is potential for the bubble to be broken by players at any location and in that case the COVID numbers in pretty much any US city are going to cause more of a concern than playing in Edmonton and Toronto. There’s still potential for the virus getting into the bubble in those cities but much lower risk. I think the bigger concern in those locations is that players/staff contract the virus in their individual cities during training camp and enter the bubble while it’s still incubating and before they’ll test positive. That’s why I think they should be moving players to hub cities, or at least North of the border already. Holding training camps in Florida, Texas and Arizona just seems like a recipe for disaster at this point. I also don’t have a lot of confidence in the NBA being able to pull off their plan in Florida.

    • Mike StG

      One of the few constructive and factually correct comments in this group of posts, which has been overtaken by Covid denials and politically twisted arguments. Let’s hope players will use great caution as they enter training camps and then get to the hubs healthy and virus free. I’m looking forward to some great quality playoff hockey, given that most teams will be near or at 100% with injured players back.

  21. Adam

    It seems pretty clear that the league believed in the bubble the whole time by keeping Vegas as a front-runner for much longer than it should have been. It appears from the outside that it was the players who finally stood up and a sizable margin said they have zero intention of going to Vegas in August/September to play hockey in desert heat when the state is recently averaging twice as many cases per day as the entire country of Canada.

    It also makes no sense to expect the NHL to not think of the worst possible outcome. Even if they believe in their bubble idea, they would be in massive hot water if they went to Vegas, willingly ignoring the spike in cases and potential lack of hospital beds, and the bubble broke. You should always plan for the best an expect the worst.

    Point blank: Vegas is not safe. Whether or not that’s the fault of the citizens or the governor or the President of the United States. People should not be going to Vegas. It is not safe. This whole article reeks of a lack of accountability on the part of you (on behalf of the city) who wants to blame the reputation of the city on the NHL instead of the actual Coronvirus numbers.

    (Also most of the UFC matches took place before a massive spike. I’m certain they’re not going to keep the numbers down if they keep hosting these events.)

    • Mike StG

      Although your comment about playing hockey in desert heat is irrelevant and not correct – Vegas has some of the best ice conditions in the league, and it’s not a factor with no fans in the bldg – your main points are very valid. I agree the premise of the article blaming the NHL for negatively impacting Vegas’ reputation is silly. As a resident here I would say that the lack of seriousness on the part of residents was mostly responsible for the NHL deciding to go elsewhere. For months I have shopped at local markets where half the population hasn’t taken this seriously. The price is now being paid for ignoring advice and mandates. The fact is that community spread is out of control in most states and as a nation we’re just going to have to ride this out the best we can. Good luck to us.

      • Finally someone placing the blame where it belong – people have not taken this situation seriously as evident just living in Vegas. I personally believe it is truly sad just how selfish, stubborn and stupid (notice they all start with an “s”) people can be for NO good reason. In one breath they are complaining about the economic conditions yet refusing to look in the mirror and realize that maybe just maybe they are somewhat to blame. The Virus is a killer its difficult to understand why people don’t believe that . A tiny bug has brought the world to its knees what is it not to understand. My hope is the Stanley Cup comes back to Vegas regardless where the games are played. Lets all pray everyone ( players, staff etc.) remains healthy, safe and well and get this season completed. Go Knights, GO

        • Daryl

          The death rate of COVID says it’s not as deadly as people like you want the rest of us to believe. We’ve had HUGE spikes in every city yet the death rate is declining.

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, your bias is in the phrase ‘not as deadly as people like you want us to believe’. If you’re that clueless to think that there are a bunch of fellow citizens running around trying to spread panic for some nefarious reason then you may have drunk the entire pitcher of Koolaid. If the death rate is lower now because of better therapeutics or the fact that 50%+ of hospital admissions are now younger people (20-40) and perhaps more physically able to recover, is that a victory in your eyes? Oh, only 5,000 died, not 10,000. See, it’s not so bad!

          • Daryl – it is apparent you are one of the individual reference above and apparently have not experienced any loss. Lucky you – you don’t have to die to make this a horrible thing the far reaching repercussions are significant. It is hard to believe you measure this as only a number who die – your value of life is certainly limited. You probably feel those people who died defending your rights to be stupid was no big deal either. Regardless where the season gets completed really doesn’t matter.

          • Daryl

            Biker and Mike
            You too have great reading comprehension skills. At no point have I diminished those who have died, and yes I had someone close to me die from it. I’ve also had 2 family members tests positive for it but have now gotten over it, just like the majority of the people who are positive. By saying this virus isn’t as deadly as some of your say it is does not mean I take the deaths with no heart. Why are you not so worked up over the flu? If you are at risks then take the necessary precautions just like my mother does. But don’t condemn those who aren’t at risk for living their lives.

          • Daryl

            @Mike
            You have proof of this big black man I am scared of? Stop watching CNN. You democrats are delusional. You are the reason why most of us I dependants mean to the right currently

          • Mike StG

            Last comment on this: If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it it most likely is a duck. All your talking points come straight out of Fox, Breitbart and TrumpTV. You oughta listen to former Republicans who left the party in disgust over this corrupt and incompetent administration. “Independents” like you should be honest about your true affiliation. I’m independent too but at least I would’ve voted for McCain or Kasich over Hillary had those been the choices. As I said before, BLM doesn’t affect me personally so while I feel bad about the militarization and abuses of police I’m not a ‘target’. At my age, having fought serious cancer twice and with 6 stents placed I honestly don’t care enough to open my front door to yell BLM. It’s for the younger generation to decide what kind of country they want to live in. And yes I wear a mask, but not because I’m afraid of getting the virus. I’m not scared of dying, as I’ve faced my own mortality several times. Rather, it’s so in case I do have the virus I don’t transmit it to others. I care about other people and it’s not a huge ask for me to go through a small inconvenience in respecting their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I have the right to express my opinion about those who don’t care about others enough to do this simple act, but instead wrap themselves in excuses, misleading what-ifs and what-abouts to justify the exercise of their own ‘freedoms’. So, you are obviously free to live your life as you please, but you should consider why you are so defensive when others question your reasoning and actions. Be well.

          • Well daryl if you are a police officer and a 11 year medic man are we in trouble. Whether you meant what you wrote or not go back and read it it suggests death is unimportant regardless of number.one or 100000. It’s a shame politics had to emerge in these posts. No sure what party could do regarding the pandemic so being critical of those that are faced with the problem doesn’t accomplish much unless of course you had or have a solution. You better go back and read the CDC recommendations yes 6 ft helps so do masks. If you have been to Japan wearing a mask is like putting on your shoes so it’s no big deal and will help it may even make you look better. Keep smiling and get back on the job l need to feel safe and protected this evening.

  22. Not in denial

    Off the mark Ken. Your perception of a bubble is incorrect. There is no bubble no matter how well contained you think it is. Unless they are growing thir own food supply your logic breaks down completely

  23. Jnewsted

    They definitely oversold the “bubble” concept. They fully exposed this when they cut Vancouver out of the process because BC wanted to ensure any infected person was isolated from the “bubble”. NHL knows there is still a good chance the virus gets in, there are still so many interactions with the outside world. It would cost way too much money to create a perfect island situation with all staff needed to keep hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities and everything else needed to keep things working. People will be coming and going in some capacity from the “bubble” the whole way through.

    In the end though, Vegas will be fine. I really haven’t heard anyone look that negative on Vegas just because the NHL didn’t go there. I think most negativity has been appropriately directed at the NHL itself, because most people knew already that the perfect “bubble” was not realistic.

  24. Kent Bunn

    Someone fundamentally doesn’t understand everything involved in the “bubble”. The bubble was never going to be airtight. People still need to eat, rooms at hotels have to be cleaned, etc. The league was NEVER going to pay to seal every possible support staff person inside a sealed bubble too. So the infection rate in the outside community absolutely matters. And Vegas has shown that it cannon actually manage that successfully.

    The league didn’t make Vegas look bad. Vegas didn’t need any help at all, they did it to themselves.

  25. Slam

    Vegas didn’t get picked because of rampant covid infections!!! That’s it. The city failed to contain the virus. U faked up and deal with it. America is a shiet show. Can’t even listen to orders that will save your life. If your an athlete do u want to fly into a city with crazy viruses. Bubble or not. Obviously u want to play in a city with low infection rate. Period. Americans listen to the health professionals and stop being a burden to the world. You tout freedom and rights. All u get is death you idiots Be more Canadian and listen and stop causing shiet.

    • Daryl – it is apparent you are one of the individual reference above and apparently have not experienced any loss. Lucky you – you don’t have to die to make this a horrible thing the far reaching repercussions are significant. It is hard to believe you measure this as only a number who die – your value of life is certainly limited. You probably feel those people who died defending your rights to be stupid was no big deal either. Regardless where the season gets completed really doesn’t matter.

  26. Casino Con

    As someone who lives in Vegas, aka Covidiotville (Welcome to Fabulous) there was no way in hell any sports (other than UFC *barf*) could do anything here – it’s Sin City – what the f*ck do you expect? People are going to act responsibly to curb Covid? Welcome to HELL! Dozens of workers in every casino/resort are testing positive, and management is doing NOTHING!!!

  27. Humpty dumpty

    I think everyone is forgetting the players have to approve the plan, this isn’t just an nhl decision. The union had to agree to Edmonton and Toronto, and no one cared enough to be an a/c building for 2 months or burning temperatures outside.

    Vegas is great in the fall-and spring, not so when its 100+ degrees every day.

  28. Steve Sissylak

    BOTTOMLINE?…Sissylolak is a clown! HE BLEW THE DEAL!
    He’s a pos and only cares about doing deals with the RADERZ.
    The #s are false postive!
    All sissylak cares about is getting elected and pandering to his group.
    The reports combine antibody tests (meaning u HAD it and are clear now)
    with current tests. Is total bs and that scumbag destroyed Las Vegas Economy
    and now lost this deal.
    If he was a real govnr he would be calling Bettman to save the deal.
    He needs to be recalled, total pos!

  29. Paul Glavin

    Ohh boo hoo vegas isn’t going to be a hub city. What’s funny to me is you say they were looking for neutral sites, so a true neutral site should be let’s say Salt lake city for the west and Milwaukee for the East. Otherwise it’s all bullshit.

  30. Doktor Hockey

    Ok! This site was promised as a HOCKEY site. It has recently evolved into a political free-for-all. Now, since this has happened, and I do not know where else to express my thoughts, here goes:

    This country’s political “system” has been broken for a number of years now. When Obama was elected, the old men republicans were not going to work with this black man, period! When trump was elected, the democrats were not going to work with a racist idiot, period!

    So now here we are. No matter what happens in November, unless ONE party is in control of it all, then again, nothing will get done in Washington. So, the American people have it in their hands to do something. A) – If you want four more years of this nonsense, then by all means vote ALL the republicans in and get a majority. B) – If you are sick of the past four years of lunacy, then vote for common sense to return and elect all the democrat’s for a majority!

    For better or worse, we need a one party control right now. Otherwise we face years of gridlock & inaction from our federal government. All I ask is America do what’s right and needed. Vote for common sense over lunacy & hate! Please! It’s in our hands, will be no-one else to blame!!!! DOC

    • sb

      You’re making the claim that by voting for Democrats things will be good and normal, but voting for Republicans is LUNACY. What I see as LUNACY is having all Democrats in control of Washington. AOC as the environmental adviser, Omar as the Secretary of State. Beto as the Secretary of Defense. Mayor Pete as the Chief of Staff. Nancy as the Secretary of the Treasury. Nadler as the Attorney General. Schiff as the FBI Director. Now that’s a scary America.

    • Daryl

      Spoken like a true Democrat. Sorry but voting full Democrat would be one of the dumbest things to ever happen… Worse than voting full republican. Things were difficult for Obama to get things done but not nearly as they have been under Trump.

  31. Tim

    Let’s get back to hockey all this politic talk is depressing. Let’s face it both sides are a joke and the only thing they agree on is when they put in for a raise it passes with flying colors.

  32. sb

    First, I don’t go along with the idea here that Vegas been greatly harmed by the NHL’s decision. Only the tinest pecentage of visitors over the course of the season come to Vegas because of hockey. 43 million visitors come for gambling, conventions, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, sightseeing, etc. And none of that is going to change. I am at the top of the list of ‘the disappointed’ over this. I truly would have liked Vegas as a hub. But this dire prediction of doom and gloom for Vegas over this is not factual and, if anything, making claims like this ARE HARMFUL. Why are you painting Las Vegas as a ‘loser’ when the City is a real winner. Articles like this will do more harm to our City than the NHL going to Edmonton. Wise up – the Canadian cities were ALWAYS the first choice.

  33. Zacx

    Such a defensive-sounding article. Smear campaign?? The NHL really, really wanted to host the playoffs in Las Vegas. That’s a compliment to the city. There were many cities in contention which will also lose out. Makes a lot of sense to host somewhere in Canada because of 1. the exchange rate (cheaper) and 2. it’s the spiritual home of the NHL.

  34. Tom Barrett

    Thanks to the incredible incompetence of your President no US NHL city is safe to play in. Gary Bettman, who deeply loves Vegas, said from the beginning that the health of the players came first and he hung on to Vegas as a hub city long, long after it was obvious that playing there was taking a terrible risk. Bubbles get burst you know. When the hub decision was reached the Edmonton region had 15 Covid-19 deaths. Greater Vegas had over 400. Duh. And the number of cases also favoured Edmonton by a wide margin. It is the safest city in the NHL. As voted by the players, Rogers Place has the second best ice sheet and the best visitors locker room. All the teams will be accomodated at the new Marriott Hotel, which the players can walk to without stepping outside. It would have been been a scandal to choose Vegas with their Covid-19 numbers. Blame Trump.

    • Daryl

      Exactly how is Trump to blame? If anyone is to blame its the citizens in the US. People are going to do whatever they want no matter what the President says. At one point the President said everyone needs to stay home, state Governors mandated people stay home and to wear masks in public, problem is both are illegal orders and most will not follow those orders. This issue isn’t political and neither party is to blame

      In reality no US city is a viable option to host these games. Not enough rinks to host all the teams, not enough seclusion, and to many outside variables. Those are just facts we have to live with. As great of an idea it das for Vegas to host, it just wasn’t realistic

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