Report: Toronto And Edmonton Are Set To Be The NHL's Two Hub Cities For The Upcoming Return To Play

By Dan Dukart on July 2, 2020 at 8:05 am
The Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid and the Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews fight for position
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Per a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie, Toronto and Edmonton will be the two NHL hub cities when the league resumes play.

No official announcement has been made by the NHL at this point, though other major outlets, including Sportsnet, have confirmed the report.

With the news, the NHL is one step closer to returning to action, as one major logistical hurdle has been overcome, assuming the NHLPA agrees to return-to-play terms and an extension to the existing CBA. 

In late May, the league had confirmed 10 NHL cities in both the United States (seven) and Canada (three), including Columbus, were under consideration. But in recent weeks, with COVID-19 cases again on the rise across much of the United States, the league became reluctant to select cities that were seen as front-runners just a few weeks or even days ago, most notably Las Vegas. Financially speaking, it makes sense, too. As of 7/1, the CADUSD exchange rate is .74 CAD, which will save the league an exorbitant amount of money over an extended playoff.  

Last week, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that it is likely the Western Conference will play in the western-based hub and the Eastern Conference will play in the eastern-based hub, though no announcement has been made on that front. 

Las Vegas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Columbus were the other hub cities considered publicly by the NHL. 

Per multiple reports, training camp is tentatively scheduled to begin on or near July 10 with teams expected to travel to their hub city around July 22 with play-in games starting in late July or early August.