NHL mulling North Dakota, New Hampshire as coronavirus return locations

An NHL return from its coronavirus-induced pause could be headed for North Dakota or New Hampshire.

According to Sportsnet, North Dakota has been mentioned as a potential location where the league could finish the 2019-20 regular season and postseason. The University of North Dakota’s Ralph Engelstad Arena — a $104 million, 11,640-seat facility in Grand Forks — would be the center of the action. Hockey journalist John Shannon reports Manchester, N.H. is also being considered as a possible site. Both areas are major college hockey tournament sites.

Despite the presence of a pro-level arena and a low population density, North Dakota presents a number of challenges, including potential housing, travel, and other logistics, as well as agreeing on any return scenario with the NHLPA.

The NHL and Players Association are expected to continue discussions on possible locations to resume the season this week.

The league had initially been looking at an early May restart with a late-April training camp period.

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