Toronto Maple Leafs: Potential Hub City in Return to Play Plan

Toronto Maple Leafs, Scotiabank Arena (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs, Scotiabank Arena (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

As part of the planned 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Eastern and Western Conferences will each have a hub city designated for their games. The Toronto Maple Leafs are being considered for this hosting role.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the country is allowing for three Canadian cities to be in consideration as a hub city for the NHL’s Return to Play Plan. The Toronto Maple Leafs are amongst those that could be playing host.

They are the only Canadian team currently in the conversation from the Eastern Conference, with the Vancouver Canucks or Edmonton Oilers named as potential teams that could see their cities take on the role for the Western Conference.

The respective hub cities will be chosen from amongst the 12 per conference who would be participating in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. One from the East and one from the West.

Canada is Comfortable With the Possibility

Trudeau said that the country is willing to allow for this plan to proceed within one of the cities that have expressed interest:

"“We have indicated that we are comfortable with moving forward on an NHL hub in one of three Canadian cities that are asking for it,” Trudeau said. “Obviously, the decision needs to be made by the NHL and the cities and the provinces in the jurisdiction. Canada is open to it as long as it is OK by the local health authorities.”"

Currently, the Canadian government has mandated that anyone entering the country must quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. This is a mandatory self-isolation.

The league will not permit a Canadian location to be considered as a hub city if this policy is in place for those involved. For Toronto to host, there would need to be revisions to these rules, with standards set that keep everyone, including the public, safe.

It’s also been stated that players will be involved in the discussions, as it will not simply be the NHL solely deciding upon the two places that are to be chosen.

Outside of Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton, the other areas currently being considered are Chicago, Dallas, Columbus, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and Pittsburgh.

Further review will be required by all parties involved, including the NHL, Canadian government, provincial governments, potential hub city locations, and the local health authorities.

It’s too early to tell exactly how selected cities would help accommodate the required logistics or the specifics involved for use of team facilities and resources.

Next. Is the 2020 Stanley Cup the Hardest Ever for the Leafs to Win?. dark

Regardless of what comes next with these Stanley Cup Playoffs plans, and whichever cities may see games being played, health and safety must be the utmost priority throughout it all.