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Report: NHL doesn't want teams playing in own hub cities

Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The NHL's Eastern and Western conferences could find themselves switching places when play resumes.

"The NHL's preference would be that a home team doesn't play in its own hub," TSN's Bob McKenzie reported on Thursday's edition of "Insider Trading." "That is to say if Vegas were to be a hub, the Vegas Golden Knights wouldn't play in Vegas, they would play in the other hub. That's the preference."

The switch would presumably be made in an effort to avoid giving players on any one team the distinct advantage of playing and living in their home city for the duration of the playoffs.

It's possible, however, that both hub cities will be located in the same conference, making such an advantage unavoidable.

"It's entirely conceivable that both hubs could be in the West," McKenzie continued. "So let's say it's Vegas and Vancouver, or Vegas and Edmonton - distinct possibilities. That would mean one of Vegas or Vancouver would be at home in one of those two cities. Or one of Edmonton or Vegas would have to be at home."

McKenzie noted that Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Las Vegas are all still in the running to serve as hubs for the league's 24-team playoff. He did not specify if any of the other six cities among the original 10 candidates - Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Pittsburgh - are still under consideration.

The league is expected to announce Monday the two cities that will each host 12 teams, John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported earlier in June.

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