Find out the latest on COVID-19's impact on the sports world and when sports are returning by subscribing to Breaking News push notifications in the Sports and COVID-19 section.
Grand Forks, North Dakota, has been mentioned as a possible location for NHL postseason games, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Sunday.
Friedman added that nothing is imminent and that the NHL and NHL Players' Association are just "beginning to spitball scenarios." The two sides are expected to discuss other locations this week.
Though several sites would be necessary, Ralph Engelstad Arena "makes sense," per Friedman. Home to the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks, the facility has eight NHL-ready locker rooms and two sheets of ice under one roof. Its location is also key amid the coronavirus pandemic, Friedman notes, as only three states - Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska - have lower population densities than North Dakota.
"The Ralph," as it's commonly called, has hosted large-scale hockey events before, including the 2005 World Junior Championship and the 2016 World Under-18s. In 2017, UND alumnus Zach Parise gave the facility high praise, dubbing its accommodations "better than every NHL locker room."
North Dakota's willingness to host such events, hotel availability in Grand Forks, travel arrangements, and other necessary logistics are among the potential obstacles, Friedman added.