NHL hubs: Edmonton, Toronto chosen; Rogers Place to host Stanley Cup Final

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If the NHL’s Return to Play plan goes off without a hitch, the Stanley Cup will be awarded this fall in Edmonton.

As Edmonton and Toronto will serve as hub cities, only one was going to be selected to host both the conference finals and the Cup Final. Low COVID-19 rates across the province of Alberta was a factor in the decision.

That means for the first time since 1988, the Cup will be handed out on Edmonton ice.

The Stanley Cup Qualifiers, Round Robin for Seeding, and the first two rounds of the playoffs will be played in Edmonton and Toronto. The Oilers and Maple Leafs will get to stay home, but will be inside the NHL “bubble” for however long they last.

EDMONTON HUB
• Avalanche
• Blues
• Golden Knights
• Stars

No. 5 Oilers vs. No. 12 Blackhawks
No. 6 Predators vs. No. 11 Coyotes
No. 7 Canucks vs. No. 10 Wild
No. 8 Flames vs. No. 9 Jets

[MORE: NHL announces full schedule for 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers]

TORONTO HUB
• Bruins
• Capitals
• Flyers
• Lightning

No. 5 Penguins vs. No. 12 Canadiens
No. 6 Hurricanes vs. No. 11 Rangers
No. 7 Islanders vs. No. 10 Panthers
No. 8 Maple Leafs vs. No. 9 Blue Jackets

Here’s a look at your daily schedule. TV info will be announced at a later date.

The Stanley Cup Qualifiers will be best-of-five series, while the top four teams in each conference will play three games with points percentage used as a tiebreaker to determine seeds Nos. 1-4 in the East and West. All series beginning with the First Round will be best-of-seven and teams will be re-seeded.

The NHL and NHLPA announced the RTP agreement on Sunday and a new four-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement was approved by the Board of Governors and the full union membership. Those steps were needed before the 2019-20 season was to resume.

Edmonton was one of 10 finalists to host RTP games and made a big pitch to be in the final two. The Canadian government waiving the 14-day quarantine mandate for those crossing border helped the chances of at least one of the hub cities being in Canada.

MORE:
A look at the Eastern Conference matchups
Final standings for 2019-20 NHL season, NHL draft lottery results
A look at the Western Conference matchups

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.