The Vancouver Canucks announced on Thursday night that their city, which was one of the favorites to host the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs just days ago, has been eliminated as a candidate to be one of the NHL’s two hub cities.
Dr. Bonnie Henry told the media that a positive coronavirus test from an NHL player, coach, executive, or staff member would likely result in a pause of play in the bubble.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun stated on Insider Trading that the NHL is focusing on Toronto and Edmonton as the two hub cities to host the remainder of the season, which will reportedly resume with a 24-team tournament on July 30. If those two options backfire, Los Angeles, which has become a hot spot for the coronavirus in the United States over recent weeks with 89,490 cases and 3205 deaths, and Chicago will be the backup options. Illinois has over 139K coronavirus cases and 6810 deaths.
Las Vegas, which has not been ruled out yet, was all but certain to be a hub city weeks ago but that has died down over recent days. Nevada has 13,535 coronavirus cases, including a record 497 on Wednesday, and 489 deaths.
The NHL ruled Dallas, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and St. Paul out as possible hub cities earlier this week.
Alberta has 7851 cases and 154 deaths while Ontario has 34,205 cases and 2641 deaths.
The entire union will vote on the NHL’s return to play plan and CBA extension, according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks.
Phase three, training camps, of the NHL’s return to play plan is still set to open on July 10, according to LeBrun.
Alberta and Ontario’s government have both signed off on hosting the NHL.
By Harrison Brown