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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is looking at approximately "eight or nine" potential hub cities that could host up to "a dozen or so teams in one location," according to NHL.com's Nick Cotsonika.
Several cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton, have openly expressed interest in hosting teams for a potential return to the 2019-20 season. However, previous proposals included using four hub sites.
The league needs to find an area with a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases, hotel space to accommodate players and their families, suitable playing and practice facilities, and adequate testing areas, Cotsonika adds.
"I am told that there can be enough capacity, and certainly over the next couple of months, there will be more capacity," Bettman said. "But that is a fundamental question, and we certainly can't be jumping the line in front of medical needs."
It was reported Sunday that the league and players' union are making progress toward a 24-team playoff format, though there's still work to be done before anything is finalized.
The NHL's Board of Governors is set for a conference call Monday afternoon to continue discussions on a return to play.