With two different leagues, the NHL and NBA, looking into neutral sites to finish out their 2019-20 seasons, Las Vegas looks to be at the top of the list. MGM Resorts have reportedly shown interest, offering to host either league in the city. However, Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now reports that Vegas has become the source of a turf battle between the two leagues as the main neutral site for the playoffs.
The NHL might have the advantage, however, considering that the Golden Knights are well established in the city, while there is no NBA team. The NBA is also considering Disney World as a potential site.
- While talk of an early June draft has quieted somewhat in the last week, that doesn’t mean the idea is dead. According to The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy, an NHL general manager told him that the league has been consistently telling teams that they will have at least one month’s notice before the draft, meaning that the original projected date of June 5 isn’t going to happen. The earliest the league could put a draft together would be mid-June. Of course, with many general managers resisting an early draft, it remains completely up in the air, meaning it could happen soon or in the October/November time frame.
- In his most recent mailbag series, the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers warns fans not to get too excited about the UFA free agent market and the fact that Colorado should have plenty of money to spend. With two star players potentially available in winger Taylor Hall and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, many have felt that Colorado might add a star to push themselves to the top of the Central Division. However, Chambers said the team is not interested in either player and is more interested in continuing to build its team from within. The team is happy with its top-six and with Cale Makar and Erik Johnson on the right side, as well as the fact that prospect Conor Timmins is close to NHL ready, there isn’t any room for Pietrangelo either.
- Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre writes that the Vancouver Canucks are likely to lose Judd Brackett, the team’s director of amateur scouting when his contract is up at the end of June. Brackett has been a key figure in Vancouver since he was promoted to the position back in 2015 and has been a key piece in rebuilding the franchise. However Elliotte Friedman recently reported on 650 radio in Vancouver that the two sides are likely to break ties after he rejected an extension offer recently. “Judd Brackett and the Vancouver Canucks clearly are not comfortable with each other. For whatever reason, the organization is not comfortable with him, and he is not comfortable with them. I think everybody can see that at this point in time,” Friedman said. MacIntyre also notes that the impasse between the two teams has nothing to do with pay or job title, but more likely because despite drafting well the last few years with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, the team shook up the scouting department last offseason, firing four of his scouts.