The National Hockey League has officially selected its 2 host cities for the return to play. And there is good news for our friends north of the border.
Edmonton and Toronto selected as hub cities
Given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, it is no surprise that the NHL felt more comfortable selecting 2 Canadian cities. Much of the US is seeing positive cases rise while the economy continues to reopen in phases. Canada, however, has seen a productive flattening of the curve on a national scale. Las Vegas and Chicago were among the final 4 cities under consideration for the return. As a result of the pandemic situation, the league decided to opt out of the US altogether. The Easten Conference playoffs will take place in Toronto while the Western Conference teams will play in Edmonton.
Canada will be well represented in the 24 team playoff format. 6 of the country’s 7 teams have a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup when play resumes. The lone Canadian team left out of the playoffs is the Ottawa Sentaors. In the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning faceoff with the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers to determine the order of the conference’s top 4 seeds.
Conference and Stanley Cup Finals expected to be held in Edmonton
Both conference finals series as well as the Stanley Cup Final will be held in Edmonton at Rogers Place. This gives the Oilers a unique opportunity to win a Stanley Cup without having to play a single road game.
League wide training camps will begin on July 13th in each team’s respective home city. The anticpated beginning of the playoffs is August 1st.
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