Edmonton, Toronto to serve as hub cities for National Hockey League restart

Edmonton, Toronto to serve as hub cities for National Hockey League restart

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie and ESPN's Emily Kaplan, Edmonton and Toronto have emerged as the likely destinations.

Before any of these dates can be locked in, the league and the NHL Players' Association must reach an agreement on several key issues, including additional return-to-play protocols and an extension of the collective bargaining agreement. Those votes could take place later this week.

The move could be a result of recent surges in COVID-19 cases in American states that have resulted in 19 jurisdictions pausing or rolling back reopening plans.

Initially the NHL had been eyeing one location in the USA and one in Canada but a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the states has prompted league officials to reconsider.

While many key details of the new National Hockey League collective bargaining agreement and the intertwined Return To Play plan have been leaked the past few days, the actual deal remains unsigned.

Some of the details in the new deal include training camps opening July 13, with teams reporting to their respective hubs by July 26. That money would be returned to them in the future.

The salary cap upper-limit will be frozen at $81.5 million until hockey-related revenue hits $4.8 billion - the amount projected for the current season before the pandemic shut it down. Compliance buyouts are not expected be part of any agreement. That would then require further discussions with the International Olympic Committee before players would get the green light to go.

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