EDMONTON – It's laughable, the comparisons between the National Hockey League, which gathers one of its playoff pools in Edmonton or Las Vegas.
How seriously? Are we really talking about it?
Well, actually they are. And there are a few reasons for that.
Were you first in Vegas in August? The average high this month is 38-40 degrees Celsius, the average low is 26 degrees. It's like going into a pizza oven when you leave your hotel in Vegas, and even a little fresh air is sometimes needed in Sin City.
For many, the reason you choose Las Vegas weather instead of Edmonton weather nine months a year is the same reason you would choose Edmonton weather instead of Las Vegas weather for July, August, and September.
Las Vegas has every city in North America – maybe the world? – Hit if the competition is all about hotels, pools and access to banquet facilities, restaurants, etc. But neither Edmonton nor Vancouver beats when it comes to the availability of NHL hockey fields for 12 teams.
In Vancouver there is one-stop shopping with the Burnaby 8 ice rinks, while the Edmonton offer originally offered to provide each of the 12 teams with their own practice track. This was considered unnecessary, but assuming that six practice areas are required, these are two municipal facilities in Edmonton – plus those under the same roof as the main track at Rogers Place for pregame skates. No problem.
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people all over the hockey world and tell the audience everything about what they heard and what they think about it.
Speaking of ice rinks, how about ice in the desert in August? Now that no fans are opening and closing the arena doors, this will help keep the heat out. But anyone who has traveled the NHL racetrack can tell you this: If the humidity is the number 1 enemy of the ice machine, the intense heat is number 2.
There is a reason why Edmonton's ice has been at or near the top of the NHL for ages. It is dry and a nice, hot summer day is around 27 degrees Celsius. The average August high is only 22.
It's the playoffs. Making good ice cream should be a priority, no?
Oilers' offering includes three hotels within a five-minute walk of Rogers Place and a fourth – the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald – about a 15-minute walk away.
Players want to play golf? There are many courses where an NHL team would like to fill out their tee off on a day off – no problem. You could get a mosquito bite, but you can tee off at 1pm. and don't get heat stroke. Or at 6 p.m. and still 18 in.
Another place where Edmonton's new arena matches or beats someone – especially Vancouver – is the press slot. There is room for 12 radio teams and as many television teams to call games at Rogers Place, a key component of Edmonton's offering, with the NHL still deciding how much media they are willing to allow inside the building.
And of course there is the COVID-19 situation, in which a subway population of 1.3 million coped well with the pandemic. At the time of this writing, the Edmonton Zone had 61 active cases and 12 deaths. These numbers in Vegas (5,815 and 322) and Vancouver (887 and 86) simply cannot keep up due to the size and international status of both cities compared to Edmonton.
Richard Deitsch and Donnovan Bennett host a podcast on how COVID-19 affects sport around the world. They speak to experts, athletes and personalities and offer an insight into the lives of people for whom we usually take root in very different ways.
In the meantime, the problem of players having to spend two weeks in quarantine crossing the Canadian border is seen as less of a hurdle than previously reported. Basically, it is assumed that the federal government will no longer have such restrictions if players are asked to cross the border, and if COVID-19 flares up to the extent that they exist or the restrictions are increased, then the overall perspective Resumption of the season would be in danger.
The government, like Alberta's Prime Minister Jason Kenney, sees value in the NHL tournament for Canadians, whether in Alberta or before Christ. They will remove obstacles within reason, taking care not to create special circumstances for athletes in front of regular citizens.
This brings us to testing, another area where NHL employees cannot skip queues. The Oilers offer includes a contract with a laboratory that will do all the tests necessary to maintain their own capacity without affecting the provincial capacity to test the Albertans.
While the Oilers are still quietly fighting to host the Western Conference tournament here, many teams have complained that no team should have the advantage of playing in their home arena regardless of whether fans are present or not .
Edmonton's offer has gone too far to reverse now. They would prefer the Oilers to play at Rogers Place, but if they can convince the hockey world that there are indeed compelling reasons to choose Northern Alberta over the Nevada desert, they may accept the Eastern Conference pool.