This is old news, so go here for new news:

Thursday, as Friday’s semi-soft deadline for the NHL and NHLPA to come to an agreement that would allow the NHL season to begin on January 13 draws near, Chris Johnston dropped a bombshell.

At first blush, this sounds like political posturing. The NHL is leaking this to put pressure on various Canadian governments to agree now to their plans and not delay the process. They struggled in the summer with a BC government that scuttled one of their hub plans, and they don’t want that again.

The meat of the report is that the “NHL is willing to have the Canucks, Flames, Oilers, Jets, Maple Leafs, Senators and Canadiens play out of the U.S., if necessary.”

LaPresse is also reporting that Montreal has been given the green light to begin training, something other teams have been allowed to do for weeks under special NHL pre-training camp protocols.

The TSN Insiders are promising more details later today. But one thing stands out in this story so far: The NHL needs five provinces to agree to their plans only if they can legitimately play NHL hockey in home arenas. And even then, plans are already underway to move the San Jose Sharks training camp to Arizona if necessary. They don’t actually need five provincial green lights if they end up playing in hubs at the beginning of the season.

I recoiled at this news for several reasons. Some good, some purely emotional, and while it still feels like politicking by the NHL, anything is possible, we have to know that by now.

Until we get more details, what do you think?

How would you feel about an all-USA NHL?

If Raptors fans can take it, I can take it.42
If it’s not safe in Canada, it’s not safe.134
We can’t go to games anyway, so who cares where they are?264
This entire idea freaks me out.182

Update time:

TSN is on the record with Insider Trading.

Frank Seravalli says they have been negotiating with provincial health authorities, but they haven’t got agreement yet. Let’s also remember here that the protocols also haven’t been voted on by the NHL or the NHLPA, so this is an interesting reversal of the process they used in the summer.

Seravalli does state that a Canadian hub is an option which comes before moving to the USA.

Pierre LeBrun “call me a cynic” agrees with us that this sounds like politicking. He also clarifies that if Canadian teams move to the USA, divisions would change.

Seravalli reports that vaccines will not be mandatory for players.