Manchester, N.H. being considered for NHL season restart

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Professional hockey could make its way back to the Granite State this summer.

With the National League Hockey looking at all options amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is reportedly considering Manchester, N.H. as a potential location for games should hockey resume this summer, according to John Shannon.

John Shannon on Twitter

In addition to North Dakota, as @FriedgeHNIC reported over the weekend, also hearing Manchester, NH as a potential site for NHL games...IF, and its a big IF...If the NHL was to resume the schedule over the summer.

Word of the NHL potentially coming to Manch-Vegas comes after an Elliotte Friedman report that indicated that North Dakota may be an option for the league this summer, and with the NHL potentially following the NBA's lead of holding a conclusion to their season in a centralized location. (For the NBA, that location would appear to be Las Vegas.)

For the NHL, a potential move to Manchester would come with games held at SNHU Arena, which housed the Manchester Monarchs throughout their AHL and ECHL runs before the team officially ceased operations in 2019. Serving as the Kings' AHL affiliate from 2001 to 2015, the Monarchs actually had a ton of NHL notables walk through their doors, including Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, and Tyler Toffoli, and won the Calder Cup in their final season as L.A.'s pipeline to the NHL in 2015. But the team lasted just four seasons as their ECHL affiliate after they were unable to find a buyer.

MANCHESTER - FEBRUARY 14: A closeup shot of the hockey puck used between the Planet USA All Stars and the Canadian All Stars during the Dodge AHL All Star Classic on February 14, 2005 at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Nowadays, SNHU Arena's action tends to come during presidential campaigns, as well as concerts. But if the league came calling, there's no doubt that the arena would certainly scramble to get their professional-level ice back together.

While the league remains in a 'no stone unturned' mindset in pursuit of a real finish to their year, it will be interesting to see if Manchester begins to see the league morph their plans in a 'regional' idea of sorts (similar to the NCAA tournament) to ease the stress on some of these smaller cities in terms of trying to find accommodations for 31 NHL teams at once.

The NHL paused on Mar. 12 with the Bruins atop the league standings, with 100 points in 70 games.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.