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Trudeau says government is ‘open’ to NHL hub cities operating in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is “open” to the NHL operating a hub city in Canada, so long as it’s allowed by local health authorities.

Trudeau said Tuesday that the decision will need to be made by the NHL and the provincial and municipal governments where the league wishes to operate.

“Three Canadian cities are asking for it,” Trudeau said at his daily briefing. “Obviously the decision has to be made by the NHL and the cities and the provinces. Canada is open to it as long as it is OK’d by the local health authorities.”

The NHL is looking at a return to action from that would feature 24 teams operating out of two hubs. The league has narrowed down its potential sites to 10 cities, including Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

WATCH | Trudeau on NHL hub cities:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is comfortable with the NHL moving forward and operating a hub city in Canada as long as it’s allowed by local health authorities. 0:34

However, the league has said it will not operate out of a Canadian city if players are subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine currently in effect at the national border.

Also on Tuesday, Canada extended its border closure for non-essential travel through at least July 21, which will be four months after it began. But the restriction has not prevented NHL players from traveling back and forth as they have returned to their teams recently for voluntary workouts in Phase 2 of the restart plan, meaning players can use team facilities to train in small groups.

The league hopes to progress to Phase 3, the opening of training camps, on July 10, with a return to competition later in the summer.

WATCH | Choosing hub cities a complicated 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

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