The NHL is poised to select Las Vegas and Toronto as its two central-hub cities for the 2019-20 season’s restart expected in late July, according to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple.
Vegas, home of the Golden Knights and T-Mobile Arena, will house the expanded Western Conference playoffs while Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, home of the Maple Leafs, will host the East.
That means the New York Islanders and Rangers will get to stay in their region rather than travel out west as previously reported.
Toronto has not been nearly as affected as major American cities that threw their names in the proverbial hat of potential host duties.
Ontario (Toronto’s province) has over 34,000 confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak. That’s fewer than 21 US states despite the region having a population of over 14 million.
The city has experience hosting major hockey tournaments in the past — most notably the 2016 World Cup of Hockey — so it has the infrastructure to house multiple teams comfortably.
Vegas has experienced a minor spike in coronavirus cases, though it is muted compared to other areas of the United States that are seeing their numbers skyrocket (Florida, California, Texas).
Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, reported 736 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday.