The NHL got closer to a decision on their two hub cities for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday as two more cities were crossed off the list for candidacy to become one: Pittsburgh and Dallas, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. St. Paul and Columbus were also eliminated as candidates earlier this week.
Penguins announce and Dallas confirms that they are out as potential hub cities for the NHL…
Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, LA and Las Vegas are left.
League hoping to announce hubs by weeks end.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) June 23, 2020
The six cities that remain under consideration to host the tournament include Las Vegas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Las Vegas was a favorite a few weeks ago before coronavirus cases in the United States starting spiking in the south. Nevada had 330 coronavirus cases as of Sunday.
It has been reported that the NHL wants at least one hub city north of the border.
As of Monday, Vancouver had 2822 confirmed coronavirus cases and 169 deaths while Alberta had 7736 cases and 153 fatalities, Ontario recorded 33,853 cases and 2619 deaths, Los Angeles County tallied 78,227 cases and 3027 deaths, and Illinois marked up 138K cases and 6875 deaths (becoming one of the hotspots for the virus in the United States).
The NHL is set to open training camps for three weeks (two in the club’s city and one in the hub city) beginning July 10 and the season is reportedly set to resume on July 31. The league had one of its worst days of cases on Friday as three players and two staff members of the Tampa Bay Lightning tested positive for the virus as did Toronto Maple Leafs star center Auston Matthews. However, the NHL is still sticking to its original timeline despite the positive tests.
Many players have become more hesitant about resuming the season with another surge in cases across the country but others have expressed optimism and hope that they will be in a good situation in their hub city.
By Harrison Brown