Report: Vegas will be named hub city for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Report: Vegas will be named hub city for Stanley Cup Playoffs

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Vegas will be named a hub city for the NHL's 24-team playoff format by June 22.

Per Sportsnet, the other hub city depends on how the Canadian government will choose to uphold the 14-day quarantine for those entering the country.

10 cities were named as finalists for the two hubs in the NHL's Return To Play plan:

- Chicago, IL
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Edmonton, AB
- Las Vegas, NV
- Los Angeles, CA
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Toronto, ON
- Vancouver, BC

According to the plan, there will be a hub city for each conference "with secure hotels, arena, practice facilities and in-market transportation."

In the hub cities teams will be limited to 50 personnel with only a small number of support staff allowed.



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Could Robin Lehner return to the Blackhawks next season?

Could Robin Lehner return to the Blackhawks next season?

Robin Lehner’s time on the Blackhawks was relatively short, but he still managed to make an impact on the fanbase and the organization.

NHL.com analyst Dan Rosen was asked in his mailbag if he thought Lehner would resign with the Vegas Golden Knights after his one-year deal ends. Rosen speculated it would be unwise for Lehner to stay in Sin City since Marc-Andre Fleury is blocking his path to being the Golden Knights starting goalie. 

Rosen said while the goalie market is hard to predict at this time, given the uncertainties of what the salary cap situation will be, that Lehner should be looking at teams with more precarious situations at goal. Rosen listed off several teams, including the Blackhawks. 

Ironically, the Blackhawks also make sense for Lehner, but they traded him to the Golden Knights on Feb. 24. Would he circle back to Chicago if the situation were right? Hey, no hard feelings if the money and term make sense, right?

Lehner admits he was surprised when he learned he had been traded, but it would appear the Vezina Trophy finalist has no hard feelings towards the Blackhawks and has spoken openly about how welcomed he felt by the organization and city. Whether or not he actually returns to the United Center wearing a Blackhawks sweater has a lot of variables, including the goalie market and the plans of current Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford. Crawford’s coming up on the end of his six-year contract with the Hawks and he says he’d like to stay with the team. However, with the NHL on pause, everyone’s future is becoming murkier and if Lehner wants to be a team’s No. 1 goalie, he’s got a few different routes he could take. 

RELATED: How NHL pause could affect Corey Crawford's future with Blackhawks

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Did the Blackhawks make the right moves at the NHL trade deadline

Did the Blackhawks make the right moves at the NHL trade deadline

ST. LOUIS — The Blackhawks were always going to be sellers leading up to the NHL trade deadline but the question was to what degree? Chicago got its answer on Monday.

After a quiet morning, the Blackhawks struck two deals in the final hour: Erik Gustafsson to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020 and, more notably, Robin Lehner to the Vegas Golden Knights for a second-round selection in 2020, goaltender Malcolm Subban and defenseman prospect Slava Demin. The Blackhawks also retained 50 percent of Lehner's salary in a complicated three-way deal that saw Toronto eat 44 percent of that for a fifth-round pick in 2020 to help Vegas become cap compliant.

The immediate impressions on the return? Pretty underwhelming. But at the same time, the market didn't favor the Blackhawks by any stretch.

The Carolina Hurricanes had two first-round picks and were desperate to acquire a goaltender at the deadline after relying on a 42-year-old Zamboni driver to get them through their last game. No doubt the Blackhawks were hoping to land at least a first-rounder for Lehner but if the Hurricanes weren't biting on that price tag, neither was anyone else.

Six first-round picks were traded in February and not one of them was moved for a rental player. Five of those skaters had terms left on their contracts and the other signed a long-term extension after the trade to help justify it.

[MORE: Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Trade deadline recap plus Stan Bowman 1-on-1]

the reality is that the decision came down to whether the Blackhawks wanted to risk letting Lehner walk for nothing this summer, or take the best offer on the table and accept that they won't get 100 cents on the dollar, especially if they weren't seeing eye to eye on a potential extension. They chose the latter. Whether the Blackhawks should have re-signed Lehner is a separate discussion but both sides can always revisit things on July 1 if they choose.

It's also difficult to get excited about the return for Gustafsson after several similar impact defensemen were traded last week for more, and rightfully so. Did the Blackhawks wait too long to move him? Probably. But he wasn't going to fetch much on his own to begin with, and you have to wonder how hard the Blackhawks tried to package Gustafsson with another asset to sweeten the deal and get the first-round pick they were looking for.

There's a large portion of the fanbase who felt Gustafsson should have been dealt in the summer when his value was highest after he turned in a breakout 60-point campaign. And that's fair. But the Blackhawks were hoping to make the playoffs this season and subtracting a key piece from their roster wasn't something that would have aligned with those goals.

In the end, the Blackhawks went into trade deadline day hoping to recoup some draft picks and prospects, and continue building from within. They did that.

But the expectation in Chicago was that this could have served as a prime opportunity to restock the pipeline with future assets and get fans excited about the retooling process. And while the Blackhawks didn't exactly strike out, they didn't hit a home run, either.

"The goal was to try to get some asset value in return for them and we certainly did that," GM Stan Bowman said in a conference call. "Going into a period like this at the trade deadline, you have to try to manage your assets going forward. When you have expiring assets and you talk around the league to teams and find out if there’s interest in them, then you do your best to try and get the maximum return you can. "

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