Report: NHL’s 2020 playoff hub cities will be Edmonton, Toronto

NHL chooses Canada for playoffs

A note thanking the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team is seen on the Wayne Gretzky statue outside Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday March 12, 2020. The NHL is following the NBAs lead and suspending its season amid the coronavirus outbreak. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league is pausing its season. The move comes a day after the NBA suspended play following a player's positive COVID-19 test. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

The NHL is designating two Canadian cities as its “hub cities” for the 2020 playoffs.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie said “barring any last-minute complications,” Edmonton and Toronto will host the playoffs, which are set to start as early as late July.

The regular season was first paused in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, then it was officially canceled in late May when the league simultaneously announced a 24-team playoff plan.

Here’s how it will go:

  • Round Robin: The top 4 teams play for First Round seeding (regular-season overtime rules in effect)
  • Qualifying Round: The remaining 8 teams play best-of-5 series to advance to the First Round (playoff overtime rules in effect)
  • First Round and Second Round: Format (seeding vs. bracket) and series lengths to be determined
  • Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final: Best-of-7 series

The NHL said it was looking at 10 different cities as possible “hub cities” for games. The list included Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver.

The NHL said each conference will be assigned a hub city with secure hotels, arena, practice facilities and in-market transportation. Teams will be limited to 50 personnel in the hub city with only a small number of support staff permitted to enter the event areas.

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