Vancouver still in the running as NHL hub city shortlist reduces to six

Vancouver still in the running as NHL hub city shortlist reduces to six
Vancouver Canucks / Twitter
Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson takes a shot against the Minnesota Wild.

Six cities remain in the race to become one of two NHL hub cities to host the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Vancouver remains in the mix among those six, alongside fellow Canadian cities Edmonton and Toronto.

Rounding out the final three remaining options are Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The original list of options presented by the NHL included 10 cities, but four have now confirmed they are out of the running.

Pittsburgh, Dallas, Columbus and St. Paul in Minnesota have all step out of the running as COVID-19 health concerns continue to play a factor in the NHL’s decision.

When looking at the current spread of the virus in each location, British Columbia’s situation can’t be matched by any of the other cities still in the hunt. BC’s current number of active cases sits at 182, which is far lower than Alberta at 542 – with Edmonton containing 236 of those total cases.

Ontario currently has over 2,000 active cases and Toronto is just getting set to enter its second phase of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it remains the only city in the Eastern Conference.

Vegas, which was considered one of the frontrunners throughout the process, has seen a recent spike in numbers, reporting over 450 new cases on June 23. Despite Vegas being the U.S. favourite still, hockey insiders are suggesting that two Canadian cities could be chosen.

At the onset of the NHL unveiling its plans to return to action, BC’s officials remained firm on the fact that any hockey player crossing the border would have to follow the 14-day quarantine rules, leading the NHL to stress they would prioritize cities not in Canada.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has since approved a hybrid proposal from the Vancouver Canucks that calls for a “cohort quarantine,” where players of the same club would be allowed to isolate together. This idea enables teams to transport to and from rinks for practices while staying in a bubble separated from the general public.

The federal government has signed off on this idea and will support Vancouver, Edmonton, or Toronto if they get chosen to be a hub city.

The NHL’s restart plan has teams beginning training camp on July 10, meaning the hub city selection announcement is expected in the coming days.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!