Three of four NHL cities chosen to host games when 2019-20 season resumes

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The NHL has stepped away from tentative plan to use non-NHL rinks in “neutral sites” for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski.

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Further to that Wyshynski also reports that the league is pushing forward with a plan that would see two to four NHL arenas host games to enable the remainder of the regular season and Playoffs. 

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Now that’s interesting…  so who would host these games? Most Canadian markets have done an excellent job of flattening the curve and limiting the outbreak. In fact, in all of Manitoba there are only six confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Would the Winnipeg Jets make a good host? You have to imagine that Toronto is being considered, Montreal and in fact all of Quebec has been hit hard by the virus though. Vancouver is well situated for Western Conference teams, but Edmonton and Calgary have to both be in consideration, as well.

Two teams that have confirmed to be in discussions with the NHL though are the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild.

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Again, both locations are fairly central and have the infrastructure to support an influx of players and staff. 

ESPN's Emily Kaplan updated the list to include Raleigh, North Carolina and Edmonton, Alberta but neglected to mention Arizona.

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Another consideration: Buffalo. The Sabres’ home arena, KeyBank Center, is attached to a building that houses two additional ice rinks, a Marriott hotel and a world class gym and training facility. In effect, the players would never need to leave the premises. 

Stay tuned, hockey fans. More to come on this story.