During the pandemic, all sporting organizations (amateur and professional) have had to rethink how they can safely resume league play and the NHL is no different. It took a long time to formalize plans, but the owners and players finally settled on running a revised playoff format from two Hub cities (Edmonton and Toronto) where Covid 19 rates were lower and the ice arenas were connected to hotels and other facilities. 12 teams would go to each Hub city for the initial qualifying round and quarter and semi finals. The winners of the semi final would then play for the Stanley Cup in Edmonton. There will be no fans in the stands and announcers will work remotely.
Each team is housed on one floor of a hub city hotel and everyone is tested daily for the virus. If a player tests positive, he must self isolate in his hotel room for 10 days and then pass two consecutive negative tests within 24 hours, before returning from isolation. Play has been going on since August 1, 2020 and no player has yet tested positive in either city.
For their part, The Edmonton Oilers played the ever gracious hosts, bowing out in 4 games of the qualifying round with the Chicago Blackhawks. That, in itself may reduce the amount of community Covid transmission, should Edmonton citizens elect to stay home, rather than go watch the games in bars.
These photos were taken on August 12, 2020, during our city walk.
You really could not see much, as the entire Hub bubble had been fenced off and views obscured, to keep crowds from gathering.
**On a sad note, the CFL (Canadian Football League) could not secure any financing to run their shortened season from a Winnipeg HUB and have cancelled the 2020 season. This makes me sad, as we are CFL fanatics.**