With the NHL supposed to start back up relatively shortly, the NHL is close to announcing that Toronto and Edmonton will be the hub cities for the 24 team playoff format. This will be the case barring any last second changes in the return to play format.
Las Vegas was one of the finalists and a favorite for a little bit to be one of the hub cities, but with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Nevada, they will not be one of the hosts. Las Vegas had a nice setup with resorts near T-Mobile arena, but with the cases rising, the NHL has decided to shy away from that.
Edmonton will be the main host of the tournament, meaning that when the playoffs hit the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, Edmonton will be the host. Edmonton is planning on building a wall around a few blocks to make a safe area for the players and the public to stay safe. This will allow the players and staff to move throughout this area for workouts, practices and games.
With Edmonton and Toronto being chosen as the two NHL Hub cities, the question most often asked now is, which of the two will play host to the Stanley Cup final and Conference finals?
The answer, apparently, is Edmonton.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 2, 2020
What Happens Now
The players will continue to have the ability to do small group workouts and access team facilities for the time being, with all of this being voluntary. July 10 is the start date for Training Camps in which all players will be attending for their respective teams.
The official announcement for the two hub cities and the dates for the return to play is expected to be announced after the NHL and NHLPA agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. The two are reportedly getting close to that agreement, which will be the next big step in returning to finish the 2020 playoffs.
The NHL has already explained that once the games resume, they will be testing all players and staff for COVID-19. This will help maintain a safe environment for the NHL as they try and finish out the season. Multiple players have already tested positive, but have followed the safety procedures to ensure that they will be ready once training camps open.
The New CBA
The NHL and player’s association have been working hard toward this new collective bargaining agreement, which will include the complete list of safety procedures for the return to play format. This will allow both sides to have a complete understanding of what is expected while games are going on.
The CBA will also include the complete plan for how the NHL plans to return to play. This will include dates expected for games and completion of each round. This will also hold some of the fixing of financial issues that the NHL has and will experience due to the pandemic. This includes the fixing of salary cap and rates that the players will be played due to this season and next being shortened.
The CBA will also allow players to withdraw from the return to play format if they feel uncomfortable with how it is being handled. The players will have no repercussions as they are not paid for postseason play. Some players have already expressed their concern for the resuming of the season.