A proposal to make use of hockey rinks throughout B.C. for Nationwide Hockey League video games is scoring factors in cities the place the house groups often battle for the Memorial Cup, not the Stanley Cup.
In a name with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan floated the opportunity of the league taking part in at rinks utilized by top-level junior league groups across the province.
“We’ve WHL rinks in Victoria, in Kamloops, in Kelowna, in Prince George… Cranbrook has an excellent facility as effectively,” Horgan mentioned in a information convention after the decision. “We’ve resort house, so the sky’s actually the restrict.”
The premier additionally proposed utilizing Vancouver Canucks’ house ice at Rogers Area as a hub metropolis for NHL video games.
The league sought proposals to finish the 189 video games left in the 2019-2020 season in low-risk centres, utilizing empty arenas. The NHL suspended the season on March 12 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sean Smith, the enterprise operations and occasion supervisor for the Metropolis of Kamloops, was enthusiastic in regards to the concept of providing the usage of the town’s 5,464-seat enviornment, which is house to the Kamloops Blazers.
“There is no such thing as a motive why the Sandman Centre would not be a improbable venue to host an NHL recreation with all the brand new enhancements we have made to it,” Smith mentioned.
‘Would not that be a thrill?’
Glen Mikkelsen, supervisor of Prince George’s CN Centre, had no inquiries about utilizing the world for NHL video games earlier than Horgan’s announcement Tuesday, however he was “tickled” by the thought.
“Would not that be a thrill?” he instructed CBC Prince George’s Andrew Kurjata.
The centre, which is house to the WHL’s Prince George Cougars, beforehand welcomed Vancouver Canucks gamers for a coaching camp in 2015. NHL gamers additionally participated in a recreation on the CN Centre organized as a charity fundraiser.
“In truth final yr we had the brand new rink board system with the brand new glass and doorways. So we actually have the services to host that stage of hockey,” Mikkelsen mentioned.
The world supervisor mentioned it might be thrilling to host a recreation even with none followers within the stands.
“You could possibly arrange a display screen in a car parking zone and other people might come and park their automobiles and watch the sport on an enormous display screen and simply be a few hundred meters away from the place it is truly taking place,” he mentioned.
“It could be so ironic. However you recognize, unusual occasions,” he mentioned.
Larry Fisher, a Kelowna-based WHL scout and freelance hockey author, mentioned the notion of internet hosting NHL groups within the regional rinks is unrealistic.
Fisher mentioned the league was searching for hub cities which might host as much as eight groups at a time for tournaments. That variety of gamers and their entourages couldn’t be accommodated with the restricted facilities, corresponding to dressing room house, on the smaller arenas.
“I hate to be the bearer of unhealthy information,” Fisher instructed Daybreak North visitor host Wil Fundal. “However I can not see it taking place. In all honesty I feel it was wishful considering by Premier John Horgan.”
— to www.cbc.ca