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Canucks announce Vancouver won’t be chosen as NHL hub city

The Vancouver Canucks announced Thursday the city was out of the running as a hub for the NHL’s return.

The decision from the league means Toronto and Edmonton are the lone Canadian cities remaining in contention.

“We sincerely thank Premier Horgan, Minister Beare, Dr. Bonnie Henry and their teams for their incredible support as we worked through the opportunity to host NHL teams in Vancouver,” the Canucks tweeted.

“Now we look forward and are very excited to welcome our Canucks players back for training camp at Rogers Arena in the coming weeks. An exciting finish to the season is just around the corner, and we can’t wait to drop the puck.”

Previously, Pittsburgh and Columbus announced their bids had also been denied, while the same was reported for Dallas and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Remaining American cities in contention include Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Earlier Thursday, British Columbia’s health minister said the province was the best possible place for the NHL to play because it enforces public health rules to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Adrian Dix was asked about media reports on Thursday that there has been a breakdown with the league over Vancouver being a hub city to continue its season.

But Dix told a news conference that B.C.’s hard line on rules to protect people from getting the novel coronavirus is the reason Vancouver should be a hub city.

He says he supports the idea of hockey being played again in Vancouver, but he’s also the minister of health and the rules that have contained the spread of COVID-19 apply to all.

WATCH | Picking hub cities is no easy task:

While the NHL tries to narrow down the list of hub cities from ten to two, Rob Pizzo looks at the problems they face. 3:00

Dix says the NHL will make its own decisions about what might make another potential hub city better than Vancouver.

“But frankly, if you’re talking about the health of the players, if you’re talking about the health of society, you’re talking about public health measures, you’re talking about an outstanding leader on public health … this is the place to come and I hope they come.”

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