Practicing social distancing gives one a lot of time to think about things, including the New York Rangers. One of those thoughts was that it is possible that the NHL might be ready to play games, even without fans, before New York State or New York City deem MSG open for business. In an earlier article, I wrote about this possibility and suggested some alternate locations, which include some nearby facilities. As the NHL has stated previously, almost anything is possible in attempting to finish the season. So the suggestion, that I actually sent to the Rangers, is to play any “home” games in Lake Placid N.Y.
Why Lake Placid makes sense as an alternate home for the New York Rangers
Picture this: The New York Rangers come out to a playoff game at the Herb Brooks arena, home to the greatest achievement the hockey world has ever seen. They are wearing special uniforms, with NYR placed on the front of their jerseys in the same manner that the USA was placed across jersey’s forty years ago, when a bunch of college kids beat the best hockey team in the world, and then went on to win the gold medal. What a great way to bounce back from inconveniences of the Covid-19 virus, to play a meaningful game as we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of one of the great moments in USA hockey history.
The arena is named after the legendary coach of the 1980 Olympic Hockey team Herb Brooks, who also coached the Rangers from 1981 to 1985. Brooks was also the first American-born coach in Rangers’ team history to win 100 games. In addition to the Rangers connection, the arena itself makes sense. If games are to be played without fans, or even with fans but MSG is closed, this arena makes sense. With a capacity of 7,700, it is big enough to allow people to spread out but cozy enough for players to feel that there are not playing in the Grand Canyon. I was able to watch my son play in a couple of youth tournaments in Lake Placid. It is not as big as it looks on television. But its size and facilities allow it to be a suitable venue for NHL games. They are also no stranger to holding big-time hockey tournaments. The site has previously hosted ECAC hockey tournaments as well as the NCAA Women’s frozen four in 2007.
The NHL said anything and everything is being considered. Lake Placid should be one of those being considered for the New York Rangers.