Alberta ups ante in NHL hub bid, pitches mountain visits for players’ families

Alberta ups ante in NHL hub bid, pitches mountain visits for players’ families

EDMONTON — Alberta is upping the ante in its bid for Edmonton to co-host the NHL’s summer Stanley Cup tournament, pitching Rocky Mountain excursions for players’ families.

“It’s the obvious choice to bring the NHL to Edmonton,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney wrote on Twitter in a short introduction that accompanies a video he posted celebrating panoramic vistas of soaring mountains and pristine lakes.

“We look forward to welcoming the league and players here to Alberta to take in the beautiful province we have to offer.”

Edmonton is competing with Toronto and Vancouver along with American sites to be one of two hub cities to host NHL games in isolation to complete the season, which was put on hold March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league plans to reopen training camps July 10 but has yet to release a schedule for the 24 teams still in the running for the Cup.

The bid by the Oilers and Kenney has previously focused on the fact Alberta has flattened the curve on COVID cases, is a world leader in per-capita testing, and could keep players isolated because the downtown home arena Rogers Place is linked by pedway to hotels and other amenities.

Christine Myatt, Kenney’s spokeswoman, said they want to provide opportunities for families, too.

“It is our expectation that, after completing the required 14-day quarantine, that players’ families will want to explore all that Alberta has to offer — and that includes our beautiful mountain parks,” said Myatt in a statement.

“We want to showcase our province’s many attractions in our effort to attract the NHL playoffs to Edmonton.”

The mountain parks are about five hours’ drive from Edmonton.

Alberta is currently doing medical checks and follow-ups for all international travellers, and Tom McMillan, spokesman for Alberta Health, said the players’ families won’t be exempt.

“Any families of NHL players visiting Alberta would have to present a self-isolation plan and self-isolate for 14 days, just like any other traveller entering the province from outside of the country,” McMillan said in a statement.

“Families of NHL players could not travel within the province until this mandatory self-isolation was complete.”

The NHL players themselves, McMillan continued, would be acting as a cohort and isolating from the public for the duration of the tournament. He said that means they could not travel to Banff or other locations with their families.

Last week, the federal government approved a separate quarantine plan for NHL players possibly coming to Canada to play. The traditional 14-day quarantine was seen as a barrier to Toronto, Edmonton or Vancouver winning a bid to be a hub city.

The cohort quarantine would keep players separate from the general public, rather than require players to isolate individually for the two-week period.

The NHL is one of multiple North American professional sports leagues looking to return to play, but COVID continues to cause concerns.

The NHL said last week that it tested more than 200 players at club facilities during voluntary training since June 8, with 11 testing positive.

If the tournament goes ahead, the two hub cities would each host 12 teams in the tournament from each of the two conferences. Las Vegas is considered the favourite in the United States, unless two Canadian sites are picked.

The Stanley Cup final is expected to be in one of the two cities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

57 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Friday

Central zone remains at three active cases

Three people arrested after failed escape ends in farmer’s field

Cole Joseph Obdam facing numerous charges for incident with police

Red Deer remains at two active COVID-19 cases

Alberta confirms 94 new cases over past two days

Some Central Albertans calling for mask wearing to become mandatory

A family physician from Didsbury supports the Masks4Canada movement

Sylvan Lake pastor retiring after 43 years of service

Pastor Bill Spangler has been at Sylvan Lake Seventh-Day Adventist Church for six years

PODCAST: Black Lives Matter in central Alberta Part 2

More insight into the Black Lives Matter movement of central Alberta

Hosting regular season MLB in Toronto “totally different ball game”

Hosting regular season MLB in Toronto “totally different ball game”

Siakam says he feels safe in Florida, despite explosion of COVID-19 cases

Siakam says he feels safe in Florida, despite explosion of COVID-19 cases

Hockey Canada cancels 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Hockey Canada cancels 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus

Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus

Major League Soccer teams head to Florida, albeit in stop-start fashion

Major League Soccer teams head to Florida, albeit in stop-start fashion

Trout uncertain, All-Star Game off as MLB gets back on field

Trout uncertain, All-Star Game off as MLB gets back on field

Chris Kirk, Webb Simpson share Rocket Mortgage Classic lead

Chris Kirk, Webb Simpson share Rocket Mortgage Classic lead

CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos announce they’ll be retaining their team name

CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos announce they’ll be retaining their team name

Most Read