The NHL has plans to announce Edmonton and Toronto as the two Hub Cities
Nix Vegas off your list. With the swelling COVID numbers in the mainland US, the NHL has turned to Canada to host the NHL’s Return to Play Plan.
Reports are quickly coming in that while the NHL and NHLPA are negotiating for the details of phases 3 and 4, Training Camp and puck drop respectively, that the NHL seems to have come to an agreement on the two hub cities that will host the games.
As of right now, unless something drastic happens, they appear to be Edmonton and Toronto.
It seems like our antics south of the border is going to cost us any NHL games being played here in the United States for the near future. That is completely okay and fine by me. The safety and health of the players are more important than the concept of getting games played here. As long as they play and the games are broadcasted, then we should be all good and dandy.
Edmonton and Toronto seem to have the virus under control for the most part. According to WorldMeter, Canada which sits 20th worldwide with only 105K cases is much better suited than the United States which has about 30 times that number.
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This is a complete turn around from the original reporting that saw Canadian cities as being out of the question due to government policies that have since been rescinded for NHL Hockey.
Toronto and Edmonton also have a nice touch of balance. Toronto representing the East and Edmonton representing the west, would each host the other conference up until the Stanley Cup Finals to keep away any sort of home-ice advantage for the Maple Leafs or Oilers.
At that point, it is rumored that Edmonton would be the final city standing to host the Cup Finals. That just might give Connor McDavid and the Oilers a bit more motivation to excel in the playoffs and try to win the Cup on home ice.
Toronto and Edmonton would also be in Eastern Time and Mountain Time respectively which would allow for us eastern time zone folks to get some sleep after the games are played with only a two-hour difference. The western conference teams would mostly get really early games.
But this is if we keep to traditional puck drop times. Chances are there will be about three games played per day in the early rounds so times may vary. Hockey will be on all day, so there really won’t be any complaints.
So when the Carolina Hurricanes and the other 23 NHL teams pack their bags they will also need to pack their passports. They are heading north of the border where they will remain until they either bow out early or lift the Stanley Cup themselves.