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NHL MOVES ON FROM PUTTING HUB CITY IN VANCOUVER

By many accounts, the NHL has decided to move on from Vancouver's bid to become one of two hub cities for the NHL's 24-team Return to Play format. Many analysts are now reporting that the NHL is eyeing Edmonton and Toronto to be one of the hub cities, while Las Vegas still appears to be a lock for the other location.

"With the Vancouver Hub city bid having hit a setback in talks with provisional health authorities, sources confirm the NHL has commenced more detailed conversations with the Edmonton and Toronto bids to see where that goes," said TSN's Pierre Lebrun. "Vancouver isn’t totally out, but the focus shifted."

"Depending on where those talks go with Edmonton and Toronto, LA and Chicago remain on standbye if it turns out the NHL can’t put a Hub city in Canada to go along with Vegas. But the hope is still to have a Hub city in Canada if possible. And meanwhile, time is of the essence!"

According to TSN's Ryan Rishaug, it appears Edmonton is the new frontrunner in Canada.

"Can report that Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has signed off fully on a Hub city health and safety plan presented to them by OEG (Oilers ownership group. This plan I am told fully checks all of the boxes required by the NHL," said Rishaug.

"This includes protocols in the event of any positive tests during the event, as well as all details on the bubble concept and how to ensure its security. So whatever details are causing a snag in BC don’t appear to be holding up the Alberta bid in any way."



It hasn't been made fully clear exactly what the hold up was with Vancouver's bid. However, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Wednesday that it appeared to have something to do with contingency plans should a player or member of a team staff test positive for COVID-19 once everyone is in each city and their respective bubbles. While the federal govenment gabe the all clear for all three Canadian cities in the running to serve as hubs, it did say plans had to be approved by local and provincial officials in whichever city was chosen.



TIM TUCKER
JUNE 25, 2020  (13H59)
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