The NHL has yet to announce which two cities will be ‘hub cities’ for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There is uncertainly among fans and media as to how these ‘hub cities’ will work. That uncertainty is shared by the players. Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk touched on that earlier this week via Zoom.
“In terms of the hub cities, I’m not sure what to expect,” Grzelcyk said. “I have full confidence that the league is going to handle it as best they can, I know they are taking a lot of suggestions on things. I can’t speak to a lot of people in terms of their family situations, but I’m sure it’s going to be quite a lockdown. I’m prepared to be pretty isolated.”
The NHL is reportedly down to six choices for the two cities. Three of them, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver, are in Canada. The other three, Los Angeles, Vegas and Chicago, are in the United States. Regardless of which cities the league selects, players will need to prepare themselves for a unique experience.
“Just having myself aware of those things will help. Things probably aren’t going to go as planned the whole time. Things are going to happen,” Matt Grzelcyk continued. “I think that’s been apparent with this whole situation. You realize that adversity is going to hit, but realizing that and preparing for that mentally is going to go a long way on the ice.”
Normal life will not be a thing in the ‘bubble’. Players will have to follow strict guidelines and make sure they are staying safe. Grzelcyk brought a mature and refreshing take to that reality.
“You want to make sure you’re following all of the guidelines that the CDC is putting in place. When you’re going to the rink and things like that, we realize that it’s a little bit more freedom than maybe at first. But you still have it in the back of your mind that people are losing their lives over this situation and you want to make sure you’re doing more good than harm. Wearing a mask at all times and washing your hands and following those precautions so you don’t spread it on to other people. It’s a serious matter and we want to play, but you realize there are more serious things in life.”