Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto are among 10 cities the NHL is considering to host games once it resumes play this summer. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that just two “hub cities” would be used when the league returns to play, sharing his shortlist during Tuesday’s announcement, which included details on the NHL’s return-to-play plan.
Here’s the full list of cities still in the running:
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- St. Paul, Minnesota
Bettman said that hub cities will likely be selected in three to four weeks.
“We want to make sure to have lots of options,” Bettman told Sportsnet hosts Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro. “We don’t know what the world’s going to look like in three weeks. When we make that decision, we want the best available information.”
Bettman said the league would need an “unbelievable amount of testing,” but noted that it would not want to disrupt local medical needs.
“We want to be in a position to make the best decision at the time, and not lock ourselves in a place where maybe it won’t look so good in three to four weeks as we’re getting to ready to get everybody to convene.”
A total of 24 teams will have the chance to win the Stanley Cup this year, beginning with a qualifying round.
That means that each hub city would need to host 12 teams, at least at first, with each team carrying a maximum of 50 personnel, Bettman confirmed. Each hub city will include secure hotels, an arena, practice facilities, and in-market transportation.
At this point no firm dates have been set, but Bettman indicated that the qualifying round could begin in July, with the Cup handed out later in the summer or even into the fall. The following season will almost certainly be delayed, possibly as late as November or December, Bettman said.