While there was some hope that the NHL might make a final decision on the two hub cities for Phase 4 and the upcoming 24-team tournament by Friday, that didn’t come to pass. Others have suggested the league might make the announcement on Monday, but a TSN report suggests that the decision might take even longer.
“Every relevant consideration will be fairly evaluated before decisions are made and announced,” said Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly (via Ryan Rishaug).
Those comments came after reports came that the NHL might be considering moving past Las Vegas, previously considered a lock to be one of the two hub cities, due to rising cases of COVID-19. However, Daly made it clear that none of the five remaining city candidates have been ruled out yet. The league is still considering Las Vegas, Toronto, Chicago, Edmonton and Los Angeles. Vancouver recently took themselves out of the running due to the number of positive tests that would delay/end the return and the flow of people inside/outside the bubble.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that Vegas still remains the frontrunner and believes that Toronto and Edmonton are the next two cities likely to win one of the remaining bids. The scribe also notes that it’s likely East teams will stay in the East, while West teams will stay in the West.
Time is running out for a decision, however, as Phase 3 (training camp) is expected to start on July 10.