The NHL is moving forward with two major cities in Canada to serve as the hub locations for when the season resumes, reports say.

The league is expected to announce that Toronto and Edmonton will be the two locations where the Eastern and Western Conference teams will play out the 24-team playoff format, Sportsnet reported on Wednesday.

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Initially the NHL had been eyeing one location in the U.S. and one in Canada but a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the states has prompted league officials to reconsider.

According to an ESPN report, Las Vegas had been the favored location because of the number of hotel options in relation to the T-Mobile Arena, making for the perfect bubble situation. But with 18,456 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nevada in June alone, Vegas is likely not a viable option.

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The NHL has not released any dates for when the season could start but Phase 3 of the return-to-play plan which would see the start of training camps is scheduled to begin on July 10.

There has been a spike in positive cases among players since the start of Phase 2 which began on June 8. On Monday the league confirmed that 15 players who took part in voluntarily training at team facilities during this time period had tested positive.

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An additional 11 players who did not participate in training have also contracted the illness, bringing the total number to 26 players.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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