The Current Normal – NHL Hub City

During the pandemic, all sporting organizations (amateur and professional) have had to rethink how they can safely resume league play and the NHL is no different. It took a long time to formalize plans, but the owners and players finally settled on running a revised playoff format from two Hub cities (Edmonton and Toronto) where Covid 19 rates were lower and the ice arenas were connected to hotels and other facilities. 12 teams would go to each Hub city for the initial qualifying round and quarter and semi finals. The winners of the semi final would then play for the Stanley Cup in Edmonton. There will be no fans in the stands and announcers will work remotely.

Each team is housed on one floor of a hub city hotel and everyone is tested daily for the virus. If a player tests positive, he must self isolate in his hotel room for 10 days and then pass two consecutive negative tests within 24 hours, before returning from isolation. Play has been going on since August 1, 2020 and no player has yet tested positive in either city.

For their part, The Edmonton Oilers played the ever gracious hosts, bowing out in 4 games of the qualifying round with the Chicago Blackhawks. That, in itself may reduce the amount of community Covid transmission, should Edmonton citizens elect to stay home, rather than go watch the games in bars.

These photos were taken on August 12, 2020, during our city walk.

You really could not see much, as the entire Hub bubble had been fenced off and views obscured, to keep crowds from gathering.

**On a sad note, the CFL (Canadian Football League) could not secure any financing to run their shortened season from a Winnipeg HUB and have cancelled the 2020 season. This makes me sad, as we are CFL fanatics.**

Walking into ICE district in Edmonton towards Rogers Place arena
Rogers Place Arena and casino complex
One of the HUB Hotels, where teams are housed in Edmonton
A sign of the times
Looking back to Rogers Place and the one window on the Hub world
Close up of that window
J.W. Marriott and Stantec Towers in Edmonton’s ICE District
The video panel was displaying bright colours this day
Reflecting on the Current Normal
Hoarding barriers to the bubble, including a memoriam to Colby Cave, an Edmonton Oiler who recently passed away at age 25 after an operation to remove a brain cyst.
Statues of Bob and Doug McKenzie, a couple of Canadian “hosers” …comedians in the SCTV comedy review that was running in the 1970s at ITV Edmonton.

6 thoughts on “The Current Normal – NHL Hub City

  1. One of the reasons why I would love to go back to Canada is ice hockey. It’s our national sport and there is nothing better than watching a good game. The more I read about Edmonton the more I want to visit. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. Everyone can use a bit of old days whimsy right now. I think the NHL got it right. I hope the CFL can hang on long enough to reinvent themselves in 2021. I am sure some players simply will not be back, due to retirement, need to earn money, etc. Sad not to have football. Stay well Bernie. Allan


      1. I get the government not giving them a huge hand out but there is certainly a huge risk that teams will fold. We know a referee and that’s his big concern. I feel like the CFL and owners could have made it work without that much money but??

        Liked by 1 person

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