Bubble Hockey 2: Electric Boogaloo may be on the horizon, folks.
According to a report from John Shannon, one of the possibilities that the NHL and NHLPA are discussing would see the regular season played out in four bubble cities, with the teams rotating in and out of those cities.
Hearing the NHL and PA have had preliminary talks about next season. One proposal is to create 4 bubble cities, and rotating all 31 teams in those venues in 8 game increments.— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) August 24, 2020
At present, theres no indication if all the cities would be in Canada.
But makes the most sense.
You can say what you want about the empty seats or the general awkwardness of it all, but there's no question that the two bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton continue to be the safest and most reliable option.
On Monday, the NHL announced that there were no positive tests out of 4,644 administered over the last week:
NHL Statement on COVID-19 Testing Results: pic.twitter.com/IJAeT8GvQI— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 24, 2020
If the NHL and NHLPA choose to not have bubbles, they'll have to navigate frequent U.S.-Canada travel as well as domestic travel within the U.S. and Canada. Major League Baseball has tried that approach, and they've struggled mightily with COVID-19.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but with the success of the playoff bubbles, the NHL and NHLPA could very well agree to a bubble plan for the regular season, too.