The NHL Appears To Have Dodge A Hub City Disaster

Canada is a better bet.  

It appears that National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL owners and the league’s players association made the best possible decision in choosing two Canadian cities, Edmonton, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario, as hubs cities for this summer’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Canada seems to have a better containment policy for COVID-19 than the United States. But, at one point earlier this year the National Hockey League was considering placing its COVID-19 hub cities in the United States. Last week, Dr. Deborah Brix who is one of the point people on Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force sounded a major alarm in a private call to emergency managers, state and local officials about the rapid spread of the virus in certain areas of the United States. Some of the cities on Dr. Brix’s list were given some consideration by the NHL as hub cities. Columbus, Ohio, Las Vegas, Nevada and Minneapolis, Minnesota or the Twin-Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul were passed over. Not on Dr. Brix list was Los Angeles which is a COVID-19 hot spot. Los Angeles was on the NHL’s list of potential hub cities.

Dr. Brix said that 11 cities needed to take aggressive steps to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak. The 11 cities include Major League Baseball and National Football League markets. Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are on Dr. Brix’s watch list. Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays franchise cannot play in Ontario this summer as Canadian officials did not want the team to set up shop and then fly into the United States and the back into Canada for fear of bringing the virus into Canada from the US. Pennsylvania officials said no to a plan to have Blue Jays home games in Pittsburgh. COVID-19 is an opponent that sports may not beat.

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)