As negotiations intensified Wednesday between the NHL and the Players' Association on a framework for how the COVID-19-pandemic-delayed season will resume, we learned that Toronto and Edmonton had risen to the top of the league's list in the race to be the two hub cities.
A number of locales had been in the mix when commissioner Gary Bettman announced the NHL's return-to-play plan at the end of May, including Minneapolis, Chicago, Las Vegas, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh in the United States and Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto in Canada. New coronavirus cases spiked in recent days in Nevada -- as well as other parts of the USA - while they have been on the decline in Canada. It also means a Stanley Cup champion will be crowned in Canada for the first time since 2011, when the Boston Bruins took down the Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver. In Vancouver's case, it's believed that health officials in British Columbia were in serious negotiations with the NHL, but the province was ultimately eliminated from consideration when refusing to agree to all conditions laid out by the league.
Busy, but exciting, day for hockey - especially north of the border.
For 153 years, July 1 has been a day for Canadians to celebrate their country's birthday.
Multiple sources confirmed to The Athletic a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie that the two Canadian cities have been chosen as the hubs that will field 12 teams each, assuming players ratify soon-to-be presented return to play protocols and an extension to the collective bargaining.