Toronto and Edmonton haven’t officially been tabbed as the two hub cities for the NHL in its return plans amid the coronavirus pandemic, but apparently a decision has already been made on which prospective host will serve as the backdrop for the Stanley Cup Final.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who broke the news on Canada Day that both of the NHL’s hub cities will live north of the border, tweeted Thursday that Edmonton will host the league’s championship series, as well as the conference finals.
That means that Toronto will host the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference before the remaining competitors relocate to Edmonton.
McKenzie speculates that the decision is rooted simply in Edmonton and the province of Alberta’s success with managing the coronavirus outbreak.
It is interesting, though, that Edmonton is the league’s preference, given that the city assumed something of an underdog status throughout the vetting process. Most believed that both Las Vegas and Vancouver were preferred destinations for the NHL, but circumstances ultimately led the league to decide on Edmonton for its western post.
Either way, if the NHL does indeed restart and withstand inevitable challenges associated with the pandemic, the Stanley Cup will be awarded in Canada for the first time in nine years.
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