The Canadian and American governments announced on Tuesday that the border between the two countries will remain closed for another month but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that the country is open to the idea of having an NHL hub city despite the ongoing restrictions.
Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton are among the candidates to host centralized games. Las Vegas will be the other city and Eastern Conference teams are likely to play there to prevent “home-ice advantage.” If the NHL wants to go that route, Toronto would be the most likely Canadian city to host the Western Conference during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Players participating in phase two of the NHL’s return to play plan have already been crossing the border in both directions.
The NHL wants to have one Canadian city as a tournament hub but the border closure has made that easier said than done. Canada also has a 14-day quarantine rule for all incoming travelers. It is unclear whether that will be eased for NHL personnel.
Training camp will likely be three weeks long with two happening in each team’s city and the other occurring in the hub city.
Trudeau acknowledged that the decision of having a hub city in Canada is up to the NHL, province officials of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, as well as health authorities.
The two hub cities will reportedly be announced on Sunday.
By Harrison Brown