**UPDATE**: It's official.
Happy Canada Day to all of our wonderful readers.
Like many things, the selection process for the NHL’s hub cities has been tedious. Last night, it looked like things became a little clearer.
Really looks like Edmonton and Toronto for hubs cities. No big issues with the safety protocol, but you know how it is, the devil is in the detail. If the NHL and NHLPA have a CBA extension, we’ll have some hockey this summer. If not, it will be difficult. That’s my understanding— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 30, 2020
Lavoie, along with Bob McKenzie have suggested that Edmonton and Toronto are the frontrunners to become hub cities for the 2019-20 NHL Playoffs. It’d be kinda nice if they would name them today, but announcement might not come until the end of the week.
Provided that everyone can stay healthy, Edmonton as a hub city is a huge deal for the city. Playing hockey in cities that have not yet controlled the COVID-19 outbreak (such as Vegas or Chicago) doesn’t make good sense for anyone involved, not just players.
So what’s next?
As has been the case recently, NHL-NHLPA negotiations on Phase 3/Phase 4 RTP protocols and CBA extension are going late into the night. Both sides know time is tight and the push is on to get this done.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
Phase 3 (training camp) is expected to begin next week, and it would be an added surprise if both the NHL and the NHLPA could hammer out an extension. As much as I like lockouts (and doing cool top ten lists instead of the Top 25 under 25), I’d much rather have some games to safely watch.