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Hockey Night In North Dakota?

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

Let’s preface this with the fact that, at this time, we’re all just guessing at return-to-play timelines — but the NHL and NHLPA are beginning to spitball scenarios as to where remaining 2019-20 regular-season/playoff games could be held.

One location that’s been mentioned: North Dakota.

Several sites would be necessary, but Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., makes sense. Host of the 2005 World Junior Championships, the 2016 World Under-18s and the NCAA’s Fighting Hawks, it is an impressive facility that is definitely more suitable than many other available non-NHL options in the United States.

Obviously, nothing is imminent. Hotel availability in Grand Forks would be a challenge. We also don’t know about travel scenarios, necessary logistics, or if the state itself would be willing to host such an event. But the area makes sense because of the arena, the likelihood of games being played without fans and North Dakota’s relatively low population density (only Montana, Wyoming and Alaska have fewer people per square mile).

It is expected that the NHL and NHLPA will discuss other locales this week.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Alan's avatar

This idea reeks of desperation. I’m not saying ND is bad for hockey, but even potentially endangering people just for the sake of playing games is a bad move, no matter where it’s being done.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/06/20 at 12:24 AM ET

Steeb's avatar

I don’t see this happening. For one thing, it’d be just too surreal to have a playoff game in an empty building, esp the Cup carry around at the end. But more bkz if it’s deemed safe to have, say, the ~150 ppl in a hockey rink that would make it happen with all the TV and everything, but not for an arena of fans, what does that middle look like? Is it safe for players to slam into each other on the boards and possibly bleed on another player? Too many mines in this field, methinks.

Posted by Steeb on 04/06/20 at 12:34 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Posted by Steeb on 04/06/20 at 12:34 AM ET

Not to mention pulling healthcare workers off the current healthcare crisis to care for athletes doing something completely unnecessary.

I miss the game, but seriously NHL, stop dreaming.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/06/20 at 02:09 AM ET


They appear very desperate to grab some of that broadcasting revenue. Putting the money aside, forcing the playoffs, even with no audience seems like a unnecessary risk.

Everyone is having to sacrifice in some way right now and will have to continue to do so for at least the near future. The worst thing we can do, as a society is to rush back to normalcy to soon. I know we all miss sports (or at least a draft lottery) but losing sports for a bit won’t be the end of it all.

Posted by evileye on 04/06/20 at 11:33 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

This is entering the theater of the absurd now.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/06/20 at 12:41 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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