It has been a long process for the NHL to resume play ever since play paused on March 12. The NHL has already concluded the regular season and they have already begun Phase 2. It is also Canada Day as well since it is July 1. The NHL has made a decision on its hub cities.
The NHL will be going to Edmonton and Toronto, according to reports barring anything at the last second. Vancouver and Vegas were in the mix for a while. Vegas was about to be a done deal, but there were coronavirus cases that spiked in that area and that’s what drew the NHL away.
The NHL going to Canada to finish the season means that the Canadian government has done an amazing job with handling the coronavirus, unlike the United States government.
The Eastern Conference teams will be heading to Toronto and the Western Conference Teams will be heading to Edmonton. There is no set date for when the Stanley Cup Playoffs are going to begin. Maybe it will begin in late July or early August, but we will see.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the heart and soul of the NHL season. It will be unpredictable when it begins though.
Phase 3 is projected to start on Friday, July 10. As of right now, teams should be heading to their hub city destinations on either Thursday, July 23, or Friday, July 24.
It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward. The other six cities that were in play for this were Dallas, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Los Angeles.
It is sad that none of the United States cities were elected to be the hub cities. There are some players that are concerned about the restart, however.
We’ll see how many key players return and how many key players decide to opt-out of the restart. The announcement of the hub cities is another step closer for the NHL to return to play.
The MLB will be returning on July 23 or July 24. The NBA will be returning on July 30 in Orlando, Florida, at the Walt Disney Studio Resorts.
It is going to be interesting that the Stanley Cup is going to be hoisted this season in Canada. The last Canadian to win a Stanley Cup was 1993 by the Montreal Canadiens. All of Canada’s teams, except for the Ottawa Senators are in the 24-team restart of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It will be interesting to see whether or not that drought will end this season. If it doesn’t, then it is oh well for the other six Canadian teams that are participating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. That would mean that the United States would have another Stanley Cup title this season even though hockey is Canada’s sport.
What do you think of the NHL restarting in Edmonton and Toronto? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.