The NHL has chosen Edmonton and Toronto to act as the two venues for the return to play. The NHL and NHLPA recently agreed to a formal return to play plan. Players have been making their returns to their home cities to start skating again and begin unofficial practices. Starting on July 13, teams can start their formal return to the practice ice. On July 26, teams will begin to travel to their respective hub city. And finally, the playoffs will start on August 1.
Why Canada Makes Sense
Out of the three sports trying to return, I believe hockey has the best chance to complete their season. Because the NHL chose two cities in Canada, and not in the United States, I believe that gives them the best chance to finish their season. The NBA may not even come back. FC Dallas has already backed out of the MLS season because of too many positive tests after spending time in ORLANDO, where the NBA is supposed to play.
Canada has done an excellent job of flattening the curve. wWhile we all know how everything is going here, Canada has taken this very seriously. Canada has 27,672 active cases in the whole country while the U.S. has 1,582,907 ACTIVE cases. Florida alone has 180,528 active cases. The U.S. is just not a viable option for sports to return. The only region you can make an argument for is the Northeast, because people up here have been taking it seriously.
Why Edmonton and Toronto?
Edmonton and Toronto are two very hockey rich towns. Each of those cities boasts one of the best young players in the league with Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. Of course Edmonton has the history of the dynasties during the Gretzky and Messier era while Toronto has the second most Cups and is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame. There is a lot of rich hockey history in these two cities, and they deserve the chance to host the playoffs.
Choosing host cities outside of the United States gives the NHL the best chance at their completing their season. Florida alone has about 9x as many active cases as the entire country of Canada. We may see the NHL as the only major sports league to complete their season. The NBA is in the worst spot in Florida, and the MLB will start, but may not complete their season. The NHL chose two amazing cities to host their playoffs, and as it gets closer, I get more excited each day. Lets go Rangers.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)