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And Then There Were Six

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Edmonton one of six remaining possibilities for hub city status, one of three remaining Canadian cities

NHL: New York Islanders at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Hub cities are all the rage right now.

HUB CITY LIMITS

Every city is vying to be one of the two cities selected to host half of the playoff teams when the NHL begins its modified 24 team playoff in late July. The NHL has been crossing cities off the list, and has promised to reveal the two winning cities sometime this week. I’m not a mind reader, but I’ll bet you a dime that it will coincide with the NHL’s draft lottery on this Friday.

Ten cities became six this afternoon. Dallas, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Columbus were scratched from the pool of hub city prospects.

Who’s left?

Chicago, Vegas, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver...and Edmonton.

It’d be pretty nice to have Edmonton be a hub city. You don’t even have to make me a promo video to sell me on it. It’d be great for the city, local restaurants and hoteliers would make bank on twelve teams in the city, and it would be a pretty lovely feather in the cap for the City of Champions.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Frankly, I’m looking at it from purely a health perspective. Specifically, a significant amount of consideration should be given to areas that have low transmission numbers for Covid-19. Alberta’s numbers (while they’ve crept up a little recently) are some of the best in the country, and they’re certainly some of the best among the remaining

A couple of days ago, I looked at some numbers when it came to the ongoing Covid-19 battle. What we see is some pretty concerning stuff coming in from down south. If we’re looking at prospective hub cities, California is routinely kicking out 4,000 new cases a day. Both Nevada and Illinois’ numbers are much lower than California, but are still hovering near the 500-600 new case count per day. Both Alberta and BC are averaging about 30 new cases per day, while Ontario is roughly four times that. If these numbers hold, Edmonton is one of the most attractive destinations based on this alone.

CAN THIS ACTUALLY HAPPEN?

Sure, why not? Like the Oilers, Edmonton might need a little luck. They shouldn’t need too much, though. Of course, they’re competing against Toronto (who will always have their hat in it), and Vancouver would be a fine choice as well. There’s plenty of allure to cities like Vegas, LA and Chicago, and I doubt that the NHL is going to pick both hub cities in Canada. Don’t count Edmonton out, if for nothing other than the city’s rich hockey history and tradition.

And? It’d be pretty cool to have 12 National Hockey League teams in the city at one time.