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Regal Rundown: Trudeau is keeping Canada in the mix for Return to Play

The pseudo-battle to become a hub city continues.

Los Angeles Kings v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL would prefer to have a Canadian city as one of the two hubs for its Return to Play — it would be a nod to the league’s extensive Canadian fanbase and player demographic, and it’s cheaper to stage games in Canada than it is in the United States. However, the coronavirus dictates what our neighbors to the north will allow.

Currently, Canada is imposing a 14-day quarantine on any individual who enters the country, which is untenable for NHL players. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed support on Tuesday for having a Canadian hub city, if it can be done safely:

“Three Canadian cities are asking for it,” Trudeau said, via The Canadian Press. “Obviously the decision has to be made by the NHL and the cities and the provinces. Canada is open to it as long as it is OK’d by the local health authorities.”

Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver are on the 10-city shortlist, with Toronto as the favorite due to its experience hosting large hockey competitions and the fact that it serves as an Eastern Time Zone counterpart to Las Vegas, the other likely choice.

It’s worth noting that Trudeau doesn’t appear to have any actual say in this matter, but the fact that he is in favor of such a move can’t hurt. Non-essential travel between the United States and Canada is still restricted until July 21, and Phase 3 (training camp) is in line to begin on July 10, so the Canadian government would be significantly updating its guidelines to accommodate the NHL. We’re about to find out just how much Canada loves hockey.

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