Trudeau puts an obstacle in front of NHL’s plans to return to Canada

Not so fast, says Canada’s Prime Minister.

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With reports swirling that the NHL is considering a return, in Canada, at least and an un-pause of the 2019-20 season there’s much to consider says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Both Edmonton, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia have put in official applications with the league to serve as host cities for a condensed schedule regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it’s not as simple as flipping a switch warns Trudeau.

“I think it’s a question we’ll have to look into,” Trudeau said in a press briefing yesterday afternoon. “Certainly at a strict minimum, anyone who arrives from another country will have to follow all the rules of quarantine in an extremely strict manner, but we’re not there yet in our discussions with the NHL.”

Still, Trudeau and the federal Liberal government aren’t dismissing the notion of having NHL games in Canada this spring/summer. 

“We recognize that it’s a possibility, but it depends on an enormous amount of things, and I don’t want to speculate on this until there’s more discussion,” added Trudeau.

One thing’s clear, the NHL isn’t coming back at all unless the league can get on the same page as federal and provincial/state officials. Still, with the way that Canada has managed to limit the spread of COVID-19 compared to the United States, you have to imagine that games won’t be played south of the Canadian/American border for awhile yet. Again, Edmonton and Vancouver seem like perfect hosts. Winnipeg is another intriguing host as Manitoba has fewer than 300 reported cases of the virus total.

Canada has just 60,000 confirmed cases compared to 1.2 million in the United States.