NewsCoronavirus

NHL's focus shifts to Canadian cities following approval of return-to-play plan

NHL's focus shifts to Canadian cities following approval of return-to-play plan
Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 18:12:20-04

Canadian health officials’ approval of the NHL’s return-to-play proposal has led the league to consider designating one or more cities north of the border to serve as hubs for its 24-team playoff format.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that the approval followed productive discussions with government health officials.

The approval comes as the NHL has entered the advanced stages of selecting its hub cities, which include three located in Canada.

The NHL, however, encountered a setback as the Tampa Bay Lightning closed their training facilities after three players and some staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

The NHL is currently in Phase 2 of its return-to-play program, which allows for small, voluntary group workouts.

Only six players are allowed on the ice at a time, and only non-contact drills are allowed.

Players are required to report to training camps on July 10 before the NHL begins its expanded 24-team postseason.