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Canada 'comfortable' hosting teams if health officials give OK


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the federal government will work with the NHL if it wishes to use a hub city in the country.

"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 provinces in the jurisdiction. Canada is open to it as long as it is OK by the local health authorities.”

Trudeau's comments come after he announced that border restrictions for non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are extended through July 21. The extension won't affect the league's plans to return, as players have already been crossing the border in both directions since the beginning of Phase 2, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

The league is expected to use two cities to host 24 teams for a potential return. The NHL expressed an interest in staging games in a Canadian city but is awaiting a decision from the federal government on whether players will be subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon entering the country.

Trudeau's announcement seems to indicate players won't need to strictly follow the quarantine rules in place. It's been reported the Canadian government would consider "extending the quarantine area" to include team facilities.

Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto have reportedly expressed interest in hosting teams. British Columbia health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gave approval last week for Vancouver's plan to host teams, according to City News' Mike Hall.

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