NHL to restart with 24-team playoff in two hub cities

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the revised schedule would 'produce a worthy Stanley Cup champion' after a season that has been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the revised schedule would 'produce a worthy Stanley Cup champion' after a season that has been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic

By AFP

Published: Wed 27 May 2020, 3:10 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 May 2020, 5:16 PM

The National Hockey League announced on Tuesday it will abandon the rest of the regular season and proceed directly to a 24-team playoff staged in two hub cities.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the revised schedule would 'produce a worthy Stanley Cup champion' after a season that has been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.
However Bettman offered no fixed date on when play would resume, while the two cities due to host the playoffs were also yet to be decided. Formal training camps won't open until July 1 at the earliest, he added.
The NHL season has been on pause since March 12 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and all players currently remain under league-mandated quarantine.
Bettman said 10 cities are in the running for the two hub centers, including seven from the US: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh. The three Canadian cities are Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton.
Bettman said the league had drawn up a long-list of candidate cities in order to retain scheduling flexibility.
Although three Canadian cities are in the running, Bettman later told reporters that unless Canada lifts mandatory 14-day quarantine rules, the NHL will not be heading north of the US border.
 




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