NHL Hub Cities/ CBA Update
Canada Gets Both Hubs
By: Joe Borek (@jjborek26)
Nothing is official yet as the NHL and NHLPA still have talks ongoing about a CBA extension, and it seems that extension will have to be made for there to be a return to play. However, if there is a deal in place in the coming hours or days for the league, likely by weeks end latest, players could report to camp now on July 13th. Players and coaches will then have a quick turn around of reporting to the chosen hub cities on July 25th, potentially. Of course, certain players are already training at team facilities as part of Phase 2, but that’s all optional. Again none of this is set in stone yet until an official agreement is made, but this seems to be where things are trending, as stated by Chris Johnson, seen in the tweet below.
Still an "if" with NHL/NHLPA negotiations ongoing, but should things proceed on a timely basis there's some thought NHL training camps could open July 13, with teams travelling to hub cities as soon as July 25.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2020
More great news for hockey fans all around the globe, is if the NHL and NHLPA pass this new CBA, and proper negotiations are made with the IOC, we could see hockey back in the Olympics. This is fantastic news for fans all around, as they can see their favorite NHL players play for their nation yet again. As longs as things continue to go smoothly and the CBA gets passed and ratified by the players, this one gets a big woohoo from me. Love Olympic hockey, and it just hasn’t been the same without the NHL players involved. A tweet from Pierre Lebrun can be seen down below confirming all this.
If the NHL/NHLPA finalize things, if the players ratify it, and subject to negotiation with IOC, sounds like proposed CBA extension includes the NHL’s return to Olympic participation covering both 2022 and 2026. Which is ????
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2020
Now onto the hub cities, due to the different spread and decline rates on Covid-19 in certain areas of the US and Canada, the NHL originally didn’t know if they could have one hub in Canada due to their guidelines about the virus. Once those guidelines loosened and Canada committed to being able to host a hub city, the NHL focused its attention on having one hub in the United States and the other in Canada. It seemed the favorite in the United States, was always Las Vegas. Then the favorite in Canada seemed to be Vancouver when it was earlier reported that Vegas and Vancouver could be the hubs. This can be seen in the tweet by TSN’s Bob Mc Kenzie at the end of the paragraph. What also can be seen in that tweet is the two cities that are now favored as hubs for the NHL playoffs. Barring any unforeseen changes, and as stated by McKenzie, we already had some, the NHL playoffs will be held fully in Canada with one Hub being Edmonton and the other Toronto. Here is his tweet confirming so as well as the fact Vancouver and Vegas were previous favorites.
Barring any last-minute complications, and we have seen some of those (Vancouver and Las Vegas), the two NHL Hub cities will be Edmonton and Toronto. ????????
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2020
These two cities would work out perfect for the NHL. Health and safety come first, and both have laid out well thought out protocols on how to keep players safe but entertained at the same time. The United States has cases of COVID surging in parts again, while Canada has gotten the virus under wraps. So the NHL is making the perfectly wise decision to put both hubs in Canada. Another plus for the league is Edmonton has an adjacent rink for potential practice ice for players. It is not official NHL ice, but its something. Then Toronto has their AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies Stadium down the street only a little way from Scotiabank Arena, plus community rinks as well if needed.
Having Toronto and Edmonton as hub cities also work out, in one more meaningful way for the NHL. That way is the ability to swap the East and West teams, so no one plays in their home rink. This was talked about as a possibility because even though fans won’t be present, just like in baseball, knowing your stadiums is a benefit in itself. So to avoid that, the NHL still has been able to narrow it down to two perfect picks as long as all the agreements can be finalized. In conclusion, as said before, safety comes first, and cases are going up in 36 states in the US.
Moreover, Edmonton and Toronto put out excellent and in-depth plans that awarded them with the hub cities selection as long as everything is finalized. Two tweets one about the case increase plus the Fact that Edmonton and Toronto will be selected baring late changes, and the other just on the hubs are below. Oh, what a Happy Canada Day it would be for my Canadian friends if the NHL announces today that Edmonton and Toronto will become the official hub cities.
All indications pointing to a “Made in Canada” for the Hubs.
Amongst other things, the increased virus cases in 36 states, have Edmonton and Toronto has the hub cities for the NHL.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) June 30, 2020
Edmonton and Toronto set to be NHL hub cities.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 1, 2020