#Canada; #NHL; #HubCity #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, Jun 16 (Canadian-Media): The federal government is open to the suggestion of the National Hockey League (NHL) operating a hub city in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said to reporters on June 16 in his daily briefings in Ottawa, subject to the approval of local health authorities, media reports said.
Image credit: Twitter handle
"Three Canadian cities are asking for it," Trudeau said at his daily briefing. "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."
Justin Trudeau. Screen grab from the web
The three potential city hubs are Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
The NHL is looking at a return to action from that would feature 24 teams operating out of two hubs. The league has narrowed down its potential sites to 10 cities, including Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.
However, the league has said it will not operate out of a Canadian city if players are subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine currently in effect at the national border.
Although Canada extended its border closure on Tuesday for non-essential travel through at least July 21, but the restriction has not applied to the NHL players and has not prevented them from traveling back and forth as they have returned to their teams recently for voluntary workouts in Phase 2 of the restart plan.
This implies that players can use team facilities to train in small groups.
The league hopes to progress to Phase 3, the opening of training camps, on July 10, with a return to competition later in the summer.
While the NHL tries to narrow down the list of hub cities from ten to two, namely Vancouver and Toronto CBC Sports' Rob Pizzo looks at the problems they face.
These problems include that the NHL players cannot chose a city where the number of COVID-19 infected people is high. He added if one of the players is tested positive any time, he would have to be isolated while the others would remain under strict monitoring procedures. Another thing is 14-day mandatory isolation of people upon entering the country.
Discussions between the provincial and city health authorities are still ongoing, Trudeau said during his daily briefings on Tuesday, and the decision has not yet been made because the safety of the players and the staff have to be kept in mind.