No NHL games

A man with a mask walks by the SNHU Arena in downtown Manchester on Monday.

MANCHESTER — The NHL puck won’t drop here.

A person close to the SNHU Arena on Monday knocked down a report that Manchester was under consideration as a potential site for National Hockey League games if the season resumes. The league suspended play in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Zero conversations with anyone,” the source texted. “Never heard it before you called. Not happening here, makes zero sense.” reported the tweet from NHL insider John Shannon about the possibility of Manchester hosting games.

Another media report mentioned North Dakota as a possible site.

The Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics have played preseason games at the arena before, and the Stanley Cup trophy has made multiple visits to the arena.

The Manchester arena hosted minor league hockey from 2001 to 2019, first as an American Hockey League franchise, one level below the NHL, and later as an ECHL team, two levels below the NHL.

Last May, owners of the Manchester Monarchs announced that the 2018-19 season would be their team’s last year after they failed to find a suitable buyer.

The Monarchs averaged more than 8,000 fans a game for each of the team’s first five seasons in Manchester, peaking with 9,140 a game in 2003-04, according to

The arena still hosts concerts and other entertainment events, though many upcoming events have been postponed or canceled, as they have at arenas around the country.

What’s Working, a series exploring solutions for New Hampshire’s workforce needs, is sponsored by the New Hampshire Solutions Journalism Lab at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications and is funded by Eversource, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the New Hampshire College & University Council, Northeast Delta Dental and the New Hampshire Coalition for Business and Education.

Contact reporter Michael Cousineau at To read stories in the series, visit  


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