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Ontario Premier Ford confident in NHL’s pandemic plan for hub cities

With the NHL and NHL Players’ Association reportedly on the verge of signing off on a plan to return to play in Edmonton and Toronto this summer, Ontario’s premier is defending his province’s decision to try to host the league in the midst of a pandemic.

Doug Ford says he’s comfortable with the NHL’s plan, despite the fact British Columbia expressed some reservations about health procedures that ultimately led to Vancouver dropping out of hub-city contention.

Multiple media outlets have reported Toronto and Edmonton are the league’s choices for hub cities during a 24-team resumption of play slated to start later this summer.

The league hopes to start training camps in the 24 cities next week.

WATCH | NHL reportedly headed to Toronto, Edmonton:

CBC Sports’ Devin Heroux takes a look at the risks involved with Edmonton and Toronto serving as hub cities for the NHL’s return to play. 2:00

Seven American cities and three Canadian cities started as candidates to be hub cities, but the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States made an all-Canadian return more enticing.

“They have very stringent rules and regulations for their players,” Ford said of the NHL. “When they told me [players are] getting tested every single day, I’m no medical professional but I don’t think they need testing every day. Maybe every third day or whatever.

“They’re tough on the players. I think people would like to see a few hockey games on television. I don’t think it would be too bad.”

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