NHL: League Exploring Other Hub City Options

The National Hockey League is looking into other hub cities after hitting what’s best described as a “snag” in the selection of Vancouver as one of the possible plays to continue play.

According to local news reports in British Columbia, the NHL has moved on from Vancouver at this point but may “circle back.” That’s put Edmonton and Toronto back in the running as Canadian representatives.

According to reports, the issue holding Vancouver out of contention is some confusion relating to what will happen if a player gets COVID-19 while in the hub quarantine. The league was waiting for some confirmation from local authorities on the matter, which is why they may “circle back” to Vancouver eventually.

Also, policies in Ontario are a little looser in that people who test positively and are asymptomatic can return to work.

British Columbia has among the lowest number of cases of coronavirus in the country, while Ontario and Quebec are certainly blazing a trail.

According to reports, BC had intended to treat the visiting NHL teams as a “family” and would provide hub quarantine facilities and transportation. This would eliminate interactions with the public, a policy that did not seem to sit well with some.

“What we provided was our advice and, basically, the fact that we would take the health of the players and the health of our province as the primary concern in terms of having the NHL play in Vancouver,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s chief medical officer, said during her daily press briefing Thursday. “I actually think that is a positive for us and that it should have been something that the NHL saw as a positive partnership.

The process is a slow one, as you can imagine, and there are a lot of hurdles to overcome. There will have to be pretty broad agreement on the hub city scenario, which could be tricky considering we’re expecting a formal announcement soon.

Right now, reports suggest that Vegas and Toronto are the front-runners. With high cases of COVID-10 in both Ontario and Nevada, you have to imagine even those decisions are far from sure things. Los Angeles and Chicago are said to be other options for American hub cities.

Apropos of nothing, only 15 people in the province of BC are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Image: NHL

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