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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 6, 2020
Edmonton has won the Stanley Cup Final!
No, not the Oilers. That hasn’t happened since 1990.
The Oilers haven’t been in the Stanley Cup Final since losing Game 7 in 2006. But Edmonton will play host to the final in 2020 COVID-19 willing. Not only that, but both the conference finals will also be held here.
That’s a potential 21 more games in Edmonton than Toronto.
With Toronto and Edmonton having been confirmed as Stanley Cup playoff hub cities on Canada Day, the next big question was answered Thursday: Would it be Toronto or Edmonton selected to host the Stanley Cup final?
The answer, with TSN’s Bob McKenzie again having the honour to be the first to deliver the news, is Edmonton.
McKenzie speculated the decision was made because Edmonton had better coronavirus numbers than Toronto.
Why can’t anybody come to the total and complete realization that the city is the only one from the beginning of this process that checked off all the boxes?
In this case, Edmonton has the best facility complete with a practice arena within Rogers Place, the best visitors dressing room in the league and second-best ice in the league, as selected by the NHL Player’s Association.
The set-up also includes a pedway to the five-star J.W. Marriott to keep everybody involved in the bubble, or the Hubble, as it is now being referred to.
It goes on and on.
In not one single criteria item that the league listed at the start of this project does Toronto’s redesigned hub city set-up match the one in Edmonton.
Hopefully, when the NHL and NHLPA ratify all of this, somebody will finally come out and admit all of that.
Whatever, one hub city question has been answered.
Here’s another few your correspondent managed to confirm Thursday.
The Oilers will not remain in their dressing room. The home team for the game in question will reside in the Oilers room and Edmonton will end up in a visitors dressing room.
I have also learned icemakers, Zamboni drivers, arena sanitation workers and other staff will not be required to remain in the Hubble for the duration. Nor will the bus drivers and hotel staff.
The TV announcers and crews and local broadcast teams will also not be required to keep in the Hubble.
And this one for my colleagues — media will have access to the building but be separated from the players.
I’m fascinated to find out what the answers will be to the incredible variety of other hub-city questions.
One of the biggest reasons Edmonton and Toronto were selected as hub cities were the coronavirus numbers in the American cities, but when it’s ratified by the NHL and NHLPA, should we expect teams to express interest in holding a portion of their training camps in Canada? So far, I have learned, none have inquired.
It’s obvious with a hub city in the Eastern time zone and the other in the Mountain time zone that the Eastern Conference games will be played in Toronto and the Western Conference games in Edmonton. There’s no word yet on what times the three games a day will be scheduled in each city.
Questions with answers I have yet to determine:
• What are the contingency plans in the event of triple overtimes and the games to follow?
• Has a schedule for the play-in round games already been decided and when might it be revealed?
• Have pre-tournament exhibition game opponents and schedules been determined?
• Will each team have a floor at the J.W. Marriott?
• It is believed that players’ wives and families will be allowed into the hotel bubbles after other teams are eliminated and depart. Will that happen for the second round of the best-of-seven series?
• Will there be two groups of referees and linemen, one for each hub? Or will they shuttle between hubs?
• Which officials have been selected to officiate in the playoffs and where will their training camp or camps be?
• Will they work one day and golf the next?
• What golf courses will be involved for NHL players and refs to use between series and some games during series?
• Where will the off-ice officials come from and what will the quarantine drill be for them?
• Will public-address announcers be involved? Who might they be?
• Will national anthems be eliminated?
• Will the wonderful tradition of series-ending handshakes be replaced by forearm bumps or a stick salute from the teams lined up at their blue line?
• In what hub will Chris Cuthbert work?
On Twitter: @ByTerryJones
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