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Report: Canadian government paves way toward allowing hub cities

Darcy Finley / National Hockey League / Getty

The three Canadian cities seeking to host NHL games under the league's return-to-play plan appear to have cleared a significant hurdle.

Canada's government issued an order in council that would allow Edmonton, Toronto, or Vancouver to serve as one of the NHL's two hub cities if play resumes, a federal official told The Canadian Press on Thursday.

The order, which would reportedly green-light a "cohort quarantine," still needs to be signed by the country's Governor General.

It would let the league work around Canada's mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all individuals entering the nation.

The NHL reportedly had to provide a plan that adhered to Canada's public health requirements before the government went ahead with the order.

On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was open to having one of its cities serve as a hub for the NHL as long as it was approved by local health authorities.

The three aforementioned Canadian cities were among 10 in North America that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said were under consideration when the league unveiled its 24-team playoff plan in late May.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly later said the league would be open to having a Canadian city serve as one of the hubs, but that the 14-day quarantine period could prevent it.

Earlier in May, Trudeau said "anyone who arrives from another country will have to follow all the rules of quarantine in an extremely strict manner," but he added that the implications of the border rule on the NHL were unclear.

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