Back in the summer, Tampa Bay was ruled out as a possible host for one of the hub cities as the NHL worked to return to hold their playoffs. That may not be the case when it comes to next season, however, as Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times that the city will garner consideration this time around if the NHL opts to use bubble cities for at least part of next season:
In terms of the boxes that need to be checked and the things that we’re looking for, certainly Tampa is an attractive possibility on a host of levels, including the fact that I think players would enjoy Tampa as a base for operations as opposed to some other cities.
Certainly, if we went that direction — and I’m not suggesting that we’re going that direction — but if we end up deciding to go that direction, certainly Tampa would be strongly considered.
As things stand, there are no firm plans in place for next season’s schedule but the possibility of using short-term hubs where a team plays several games in a short stretch before returning home for a little while has been discussed. It certainly seems like Tampa Bay will be looked at more favorably than it was for the playoff hubs.
More from the East:
- While the Panthers were able to avoid arbitration with defenseman MacKenzie Weegar last week, things weren’t always headed in that direction. Speaking with reporters today including David Dwork of WPLG (Twitter link), the blueliner acknowledged that he had heard from his agent a couple of times to advise that a trade may be in the works. Weegar had acknowledged his frustration with the status of talks although in the end, they were able to agree on a three-year deal worth $9.75MM in total that bought out two years of UFA eligibility.
- The new arena for the Islanders remains on track to open for the 2021-22 season despite a two-month delay due to the pandemic, notes Allan Kreda of the New York Times. Despite everything going on and the fact that puck drop is at least another year away, the facility has already sold roughly half of its inventory for club seats and suites.