This Neutral Site Making a Strong Case for New York Ranger Games

Jim Bay
Brady Skjei, New York Rangers
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 19: Brady Skjei #76 of the New York Rangers (L) celebrates his goal at 18:23 of the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets and is joined by Filip Chytil #72 (R) at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

As we get closer to summer, it is starting to become apparent that the best way for the NHL and the New York Rangers to play games is to have a neutral site host them.  Recently, a governor of a nearby state confirmed that he has been in talks with the NHL to host neutral site games if the NHL decides to conclude their season in some sort of fashion.

Manchester NH being discussed as a neutral site location

In addition to Grand Forks, Manchester New Hampshire has also been mentioned as a neutral site location for the NHL. On Friday, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu joined WEEI Sports Radio Network and confirmed that he has been in discussion with the NHL. “There is truth to that,” he said. “I have had discussions about that. Don’t know whether it’s going to happen, but we are talking about it.”Governor Sununu added that any discussions he’s had have been preliminary and that there is still a myriad of issues to sort through and figure out before they could proceed. In addition to its resources, it’s location makes it reasonably convenient for the East and Northeast NHL teams that may end up being part of a resumed NHL season.

What makes Manchester a good neutral site host for the New York Rangers and the NHL

New York City is about 250 miles from Manchester, not that it matters as these games will probably not have fans in attendance. Boston is only 50 miles away and Manchester and the city have hosted Boston Bruin preseason games in the past. Manchester was home to the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs, and have hosted AHL team’s in the past. It hosted the AHL all-star game in 2005, so the arena is capable of hosting major sporting events. SNHU Arena holds over 9000 people for hockey, making it big enough for those who are deemed essential to make games happen can spread out.

Manchester is one of an apparent handful of cities that have approached the NHL about hosting games. But as Governor Sununu warned, there are still many questions that have to be answered before any city hosts a game. ‘Yes, we want this” Sununu said, “because we gotta make sure what are the liabilities here? What if a team were to get sick, how’s it going to be managed? So we’re working through some of those logistics, but that’s on the table for sure.”