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VANCOUVER'S HUB CITY HOPES IN SERIOUS JEOPARDY

Just a few days ago, it seemed that Vancouver and Las Vegas were essentially locks to be named the two hub cities for the NHL's Return to Play plan to finish out the 2019-20 season. All of a sudden, hope appears to be dwindling for Vancouver. Both Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston of Sportsnet are saying Vancouver's momentum has completely stopped.'

"A source indicates discussions between the NHL, Canucks and provincial and regional health officials to finalize plans for Vancouver are stuck on a key concern: contingency plans should a player or players test positive for COVID-19 within the “bubble” the league wants established around teams," said Sportsnet in an article,

Friedman told Sportsnet 650 radio he's unclear just how big of a hurdle this is, but adds the NHL wants things done now to ensure the plan doesn't end up hitting a wall.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said that the federal government was ok with any Canadian city serving as a hub for the NHL playoffs, as long as plans were given the green light by local and regional health officials in whatever city would serve as a host. Edmonton and Toronto are the other two Canadian locations in the running and both have recently resubmitted their bids to the NHL in the hopes of strengthening their positions.



"I think we should all understand how fluid these situations are because if we did this hit even 24 hours ago I would have been speaking about the very likelihood that, in my estimation, that the league was going to choose Vancouver as one of the hub cities," Chris Johnston told Sportsnet 650. "It doesn't appear that's the case now, but again I think the caveat is important because there's a lot of back and forth right now with this city still in contention...aspects of bids are being tweaked, they're being rearranged, issues that have come up are being addressed."

It did look like Vancouver was all but certain to become one of the hub cities and now that appears to be in serious jeopardy," Johnston added.

Source: Sportsnet 650
TIM TUCKER
JUNE 24, 2020  (18H30)
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