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NHL EVALUATING SITUATION IN THE U.S. BEFORE CHOOSING HUB CITIES

In case you haven't heard, the NHL won't be naming its two hub cities before the end of this weekend as was originally thought. That's straight from NHL insider John Shannon.


So, what's the hold up? It appears rising COVID-19 numbers in the United States, which have been skyrocketing over the last two weeks or so, are giving the NHL pause for thought. According to TSN's Ryan Rishaug, he spoke to the NHL's Deputy Commissioner about the current situation.

"Asked Bill Daly if the numbers in the US are causing them to re-evaluate Vegas, or having a US based hub city," said Rishaug on Twitter. "Daly 'Every relevant consideration will be fairly evaluated before decisions are made and announced.'"


According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nevada mean Las Vegas is no longer a lock to be a hub city.

”There is a much better likelihood and even a possibility,” says Johnston of the chances of the NHL choosing Edmonton and Toronto as the two hub cities. ”A lot of this underlies why the NHL wanted to take its time. Las Vegas has been the favorite…but because of some of the things that have gone on in the U.S., two Canadian hubs is a possibility. ”

Vancouver, who was considered a frontrunner for one of the locations at one point, has withdrawn its bid after local health officials would not budge on quarantine rules for players should any test positive for COVID-19 once they are in their respective bubbles. Both Daly and NHL Commissioner gary Bettman have stated they don't believe positive tests should derail the league's Return to Play plan, which will see 24 teams involved in a tournament for the Stanley Cup.

The U.S. now has over 2.5 million cases of COVID-19, with close to 60,000 deaths. In contrast, Canada has had 102,000 cases and around 8500 deaths linked to the disease.
TIM TUCKER
JUNE 27, 2020  (17H17)
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