The NHL has informed the Pittsburgh Penguins that the city of Pittsburgh is no longer being considered for one of the two hub cities in the league’s return-to-play plan.
“We know Pittsburgh would have been a great host city because of our fans and the support we received from the local business community, unions and our political leaders. We thank Commissioner Bettman and the NHL for considering us as one of the finalists, which is a reflection on how great of a city Pittsburgh truly is,” Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said in a statement announcing the decision. “We now look forward to training camp and getting back to game action.”
The NHL was considering applications from 10 cities — Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Dallas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Columbus — to be hubs. On Monday, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild were informed their cities were no longer under consideration.
The two hub cities will each host 12 teams from one conference. Under the format, the top-four teams in each conference will play each other for seeding while the other eight teams play in best-of-five series to complete the playoff picture.
The NHL has said that it would prefer to have one hub in Canada and one in the United States. Las Vegas is believed to be the front runner for the U.S. destination. Last week, the Canadian federal government approved a cohort quarantine that would allow NHL teams to enter the country without quarantining for 14-days, but still requires them to remain separated from the public.