It’s one of the worst kept secrets, the city of Las Vegas is the front runner to become one of the NHL’s playoff hubs.
I think out West that Vegas is virtually a lock. I don’t know that there’s one perfect place but I sense that Vegas has an inside track.-Ray Ferraro, Ray & Dregs podcast
With the decision still in the hands of the league, TSN insider’s Ray Ferraro and Darren Dreger spoke with Commissioner Gary Bettman about the plan to return to play and the selected hubs. Which could impact the Golden Knights and our city.
— The Ray & Dregs Hockey Podcast (@rayanddregs) May 29, 2020
I’m going to have to make a decision collectively on this probably in about three weeks. I think in two weeks we’ll start narrowing down even further. Somewhere around three weeks we’re going to have to pull the trigger and start finalizing the arrangements and make our deposits. -Bettman
Over the past two months, we’ve covered every reason why Las Vegas makes sense to the NHL, but the decision really falls on the local and state governments. Bettman’s mention that any decision was still weeks away helps the city government assess the logistics. Once elected officials make their decision, the NHL can choose Las Vegas or not. Personally, I have a feeling that both parties would like to come to an agreement.
Bettman stressed his concern about complying with the Canadian government’s Covid-19 border regulations, which could further help Las Vegas. Vancouver GM Jim Benning might’ve slipped up and hinted that an American city is more likely when he explained that the Canucks organization intends on moving training camp to the United States if the 14-day border quarantine is still in effect. Which would essentially eliminate any of the Canadian cities competing with Las Vegas.
It’s something that we’re thinking about, but also, too, we just want to give it a few more days just to see if something is going to change… The perfect scenario we’d like to use our facilities. We’re probably going to have 30, 32 guys here, and we have great facilities for our players, so we would like to do that first and foremost. But we’ve talked about moving it off-site. -Jim Benning, Canucks GM
The local and state governments are the biggest players here. Canadian officials are discussing easing their health restrictions, and here in Las Vegas the officials are trying to safely reopen the city. The Golden Knights may have some input but the decision really isn’t up to the organization.
While we’re not asking Canada to change it’s rules on quarantining when you come into the country, as a practical matter if those rules are in effect and what we’re doing isn’t enough to comply with them then we’re not going to be able to use those hub cities. -Bettman
So as the hockey world awaits Bettman and the league’s decision it’ll really come down to the status of our city and if the ones in charge feel comfortable enough to host a dozen franchises. The decision will come down to Covid-19 containment, testing availability, team facilities, amenities, and logistics. From all angles, Las Vegas should be a virtual lock.