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Volume 27 No. 30
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Hybrid Bubbles Could Be In Play For NHL Next Season

A meeting is "likely to be scheduled between the NHL and the NHLPA for some time next week to begin discussions" on how next season will proceed, according to Frank Seravalli of TSN.ca. One concept for a "hybrid bubble that has been kicked around on a preliminary basis -- but not in a formal manner yet -- includes four to six ‘bubbles’ in various locales around the NHL, preferably in cities where fans would be allowed inside arenas." Fans have "already been permitted to attend NFL games in a limited capacity this season in Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee and Missouri." That list is "expected to grow to include North Carolina, Arizona and Louisiana in upcoming weeks." Although most NFL teams play in outdoor venues, the "hope would be that local and state regulations would allow for similar capacity restrictions" for NHL teams in those states. Given no "near end in sight to the Canada-U.S. border restrictions, an all-Canadian division is a distinct possibility to begin next season." This hybrid bubble concept would "include a rotation of two weeks in the bubble, followed by one week at home where players can regroup with their families, then rotating back in for another two weeks before returning home again." The thinking is that each team would be able to "play approximately 12 games per month, which is doable given that there will be no travel between games other than flying in and out (TSN.ca, 9/28).