NHL trims Pittsburgh, Columbus from hub city shortlist, all Canadian cities remain in contention

Pittsburgh is out of the running to be one of the two hubs for the NHL when the league resumes its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Penguins submitted what the club called an “aggressive” bid to be a hub city and was among the 10 finalists — including seven in the U.S. — announced by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. They announced Tuesday they weren’t selected, joining the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said simply being a finalist reflected the city’s support of the team and the NHL.

Las Vegas is now considered the U.S. favourite to host NHL playoff games, unless two Canadian cities are selected. Canada’s federal government last week said it would allow the league to quarantine internally, making Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton realistic possibilities — if not the front-runners.

The NHL has said it will select two hub cities — one for the Eastern Conference playoffs and one for the Western Conference. The Stanley Cup final or “final four” would likely be in one of the two cities.

WATCH | Choosing hub cities not an 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

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