By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
It's possible if and when the National Hockey League returns that the Stanley Cup Playoffs won't be nearly as dramatic as the road to determining the 2 Hub Cities has been.
In the beginning there were 10 centres listed as potential host cities.
From East to West they were; Pittsburgh, Toronto, Columbus, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, L.A. & Vancouver.
Less than a month ago, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, with a great deal of confidence, that Vegas would be one of the hub cities.
As the days went by, teams were eliminated or in some cases, teams elected to pull the plug on their own bid.
Vancouver was a good example where health officials didn't like the landscape of the Hub City model citing the health of the players and the health of the province as primary concerns that they could not fully guarantee
Eventually, 10 teams were cut in half to 5, and then down to 4 earlier this week when the Los Angeles Kings bid was denied by the NHL.
To me, it appeared that Toronto and Vegas were the natural choices; one Canadian, one American; one East, one West.
Sure with an extended border closing and a quarantine protocol in place for Canada, Toronto had some obstacles.
But then there was another swerve; a spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States reportedly gassed the remaining American bids and the last 2 centres standing were Canadian; Toronto and Edmonton.
It would be terrific if the Leafs and Oilers were to meet in the Stanley Cup Final later this Summer, but that best of 7 might be less eventful than the Hub City Elimination Bracket that's been playing out in the National Hockey League at length.
I'm Fred Wallace