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Volume 26 No. 207
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Canadian Government Order Clears Way For NHL Hub City In Canada

A Canadian federal official said that the government issued an order in council that "would allow one of Vancouver, Edmonton or Toronto to serve as one of the NHL's two hub cities during the COVID-19 pandemic" by allowing the NHL to "bypass the traditional 14-day quarantine for anyone entering Canada," according to the CP. The order, which was filed on Thursday, currently is "awaiting the Governor General’s signature." Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino issued a letter saying that it is "in the national interest to have a Canadian hub after the Public Health Agency of Canada and the public health authorities in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver all gave their approval of the NHL’s plan to keep players separate from the general public." Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Las Vegas, L.A., Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis/St. Paul are "in the running to be hub cities" (CP, 6/18). 

IT'S A SMALL WORLD: In Toronto, Kevin McGran breaks down the numbers involved in a 12-team hub. The 12 teams "would represent at least 600 people, including players, coaches, trainers and staff." Add in some league officials and "maybe you get to 700 or 750 in an NHL bubble." Four teams, or "about 200 people, would be sent home after the first week or so following the best-of-five qualifying round." The bubble thus "gets smaller as the tournament carries on (unless family members are included in later rounds)." Univ. of Toronto disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch agreed: "It’s not a ton of people. All things considered, it sounds like a lot of people but it actually isn't." McGran notes those "inside the quarantine bubble -- the players, coaches, staff and other hangers-on -- would not be allowed go outside the bubble." So, McGran asks, "Is there really a risk to the community at large?" Bogoch said that there is not. McGran: "Keeping them away from the public is what matters. How they interact with each other is up to them (and would be based on NHL-imposed guidelines)" (TORONTO STAR, 6/19).