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Alberta premier Jason Kenney is asking Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau to remove coronavirus-related travel restrictions so that Edmonton can become a hub city when the NHL resumes play, according to Reuters.
The NHL unveiled its 24-team return-to-play format Tuesday, which includes the use of two hub cities - one for each conference. There are 10 cities currently under consideration, including Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
However, the federal government has a 14-day isolation order for all individuals entering Canada. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday that the league would like to have a Canadian hub city, but this rule may prevent it.
"If we're not able to resolve that issue or solve that issue, I think it effectively eliminates our ability to come to a Canadian city as one of our hub cities," Daly said.
Edmonton has been more persistent on hosting NHL games than the other two Canadian cities.
"Alberta began its phased relaunch of our economy on May 14, and there have been no measurable increases in the case numbers for coronavirus in the province," Kenney wrote in a letter to Trudeau on Tuesday. "New COVID-19 cases in Edmonton are averaging one per day, with recovered cases far outweighing any new infections."
Kenney said earlier in May that Edmonton is the "safest place" in North America to host NHL games due to the low number of COVID-19 cases.
Part of Kenney's push is the fact that Edmonton boasts a luxurious 364-room hotel attached to its state-of-the-art arena, Rogers Place, that could form a "quarantine zone." He said local public health officials are on board with the plan.