It's all but official: Columbus will not be a hub city for the NHL's restart.
The Columbus Dispatch first reported Monday afternoon that the club has been informed it is out of the running.
Columbus was believed to be a serious consideration for the NHL. The state of Ohio's proactive response to COVID-19 has mitigated a more widespread outbreak of the disease, and the state began to reopen its economy in early May.
Further confirmation came Monday afternoon from Jeff Svoboda, team reporter for the Blue Jackets:
The Blue Jackets were informed this morning Columbus will not serve as a hub city as part of the NHL's return to play plan.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) June 22, 2020
Columbus had been one of 10 cities under consideration to be one of the two hubs. #CBJ
According to several reports over the last few days, Las Vegas and a Canadian market – perhaps Toronto – are the two cities at the center of the league's plan. Those hub cities are expected to be formally announced sometime in the next few days.