NHL considering North Dakota as a neutral location for 2019-20 games

The prospect of watching professional sports any time soon seems like a massive stretch as the world has virtually come to a halt due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In the grand scheme on things, sports are a fairly trivial issue, but leagues are still working on ideas to get their operations rolling again, even if it means playing in front of empty stadiums in random locations. Take Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota, home of the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Hawks, for example.
According to Elliotte Friedman, the NHL and the NHLPA have been spitballing scenarios as to where the rest of the 2019-20 season can be played out, and North Dakota is a popular destination.
The Ralph Englestad Area is one of the best non-NHL hockey facilities in the United States. Actually, it’s even been regarded as superior to many NHL rinks. Known as the “Taj Mahal of Hockey,” it can fit 11,643 spectators, though that doesn’t really matter much in this situation.
The logistics are obviously challenging (finding accommodations for everyone, getting everybody on flights, and so on) but if hockey is going to return any time …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

MARNER WATCH: Blue Jackets like him and apparently never want to draft again

We’ve said it before, it’s exhausting watching this saga unfold and the only benefit to the Marner saga going on is the easy content for the site and the chance to debate something hockey related when we should probably be outdoors instead.
That’s why we’re taking advantage of this new information out of Columbus:

Many teams have spoken w Marner’s agent about a possible offer sheet, and, yes, CBJ are among them. But I see no indication Marner wants to leave TML. Also, #CBJ convinced Leafs would/could match any offer sheet, perhaps by trading Nylander.
See where the summer goes. https://t.co/gcn092r1dm
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) July 12, 2019
So let’s start unpacking this.
“Many teams have spoken with Marner’s agent” Well, the fact that we haven’t seen an offer sheet probably means that teams aren’t paying enough or Marner isn’t offering up the term they want to get one signed. It’s likely that Marner’s camp is trying to parlay this into a better offer from the Leafs, but an offer sheet always was going to carry a heavier price and I can’t imagine this …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Get the Kyle Lowry x Kawhi Leonard NBA Jam T-shirt

Enjoy watching the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard tear up the 2019 NBA Playoffs in style with this new NBA Jam-themed shirt from Homage. Much like we’ve done for some other Toronto Raptors t-shirts, we’ve got another one coming your way. And it’s just in time for the squad’s close out on the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs.
As the header picture implies, we’re officially selling that exact Kyle Lowry x Kawhi Leonard NBA Jam t-shirt from Homage. Take a look again, there’s not much more to it then that: it’s a crisp grey with the awesome retro design in the middle — and all sizes are still available. Follow the link below for more details.
Buy the shirt here from Raptors HQ.

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

The Leafs are Canada’s team

Everybody is going to be watching Game 7 tonight in Boston. This is because it features Canada’s team.

The Leafs aren’t Canada’s team simply because they’re the only Canadian team left in the playoffs and Canada’s Stanley Cup hopes rest on their shoulders. The Leafs are Canada’s team because everyone cares about them. Everyone. 
This is a debate we have every year when there’s only one Canadian team left. When the Oilers went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006, Oilers fans liked to refer to themselves as Canada’s team. They were a shocking an endearing underdog who perfectly represented Canada. But Flames fans didn’t feel that way. Oilers fans also didn’t feel that way when the Flames went to the Final in a similar underdog Cinderella run a couple of years earlier.
There was also Ottawa in 2007, Vancouver in 2011, and Winnipeg in 2018 who went on extended playoff runs. None of those teams perfectly embodied the advent of being Canada’s team quite like the Leafs do. There just wasn’t the same focus of conversation around those teams like there is with the Leafs right now.
No other team can get …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation