The Carolina Hurricanes could be preparing for training camp in a familiar place.
PNC Arena seems to be preparing the rink and ice for the first time since March. Could the Carolina Hurricanes be using it for practice, or is there something more?
Trying to get information on what is happening around the league and the team during these trying times is very much like trying to coax candy away from a teenager. The Carolina Hurricanes, much like every other team in the league that is getting ready for the behemoth 24-team playoffs are keeping their cards close to the chest.
But when we do get a peak behind the curtain, boy, we get way more than we can every bargain for:
What you are looking at is the rink being put together with ice very much coming sooner rather than later. Unless of course they decide to turn it into a roller derby rink, which may be an interesting concept all on its own with social distancing concerns.
But why would they be putting and maintaining ice at PNC Arena? Wake Competition Center should be ready for the July 10th training camp and Raleigh Center Ice is the back-up location if the team needs it before it is ready. It’s not a perfect location, but it should serve well enough by the time WCC is ready.
So why spend the money to get PNC Arena up and running?
I have two theories. Both are somewhat outside-of-the-box, but both are very much in the realm of possibility. So bear with me.
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The first is not so much out of the box, but has been written off before. What if PNC Arean and the City of Raleigh were chosen as the second NHL Hub after the rumored Vegas? The catch is that it would play host to the Western Conference to avoid any hometown advantage that the Carolina Hurricanes would have, much like how Vegas will probably play host to the East.
The problem with this idea is that Raleigh wasn’t in the list that the NHL narrowed it down to last month when it introduced the Return to Play plan. Not to mention that Raleigh isn’t as well equipped as many of the other cities that were on that list. But if Canada isn’t willing to make exceptions to it’s COVID policies for the NHL, the league may need to expand that list.
But we would have more likely than not heard something about the league expanding it’s search for a second hub city. So what is my second outside-the-box theory? It involves something that PNC Arena has that no practice arena does; the capability to record and broadcast.
Without hockey for the last three months and counting, we have all been a little on edge. An excellent way for the team to validate spending the money on ice at PNC while filling the coffers a bit would be to broadcast practices at either the individual or team level.
Go full “school of hard knocks” and film the story behind everything. Give fans the once in a lifetime story of coming back from a pandemic to play the greatest sport on earth. Give us the glimpse behind the curtain that would normally be denied. In a world with no sports and limited media, the team can go further than anyone else and bring the sport to their fans like never before.
Well that or they would rather practice at PNC than at RCI with WCC still being prepared.
Question for CC Readers: Why do you think that ice is being made at PNC Arena?