The NHL is expected to announce which cities will serve as hubs for its upcoming postseason later this summer, and according to a report, Chicago remains in the mix to host playoff games under the unique format.
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic, Chicago is one of six cities still in the running to serve as a so-called “hub city” when the season resumes later this year.
“Of those six, my understanding is that Vegas along with the three Canadian bids in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto figure prominently,” LeBrun said. “Los Angeles also keeps pushing and Chicago is confirmed to still be in the running, sources said Monday.”
Chicago was one of 10 cities identified by the league as a potential host for the playoff games earlier this year. Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Dallas and Columbus were also in the running, but are reportedly out of the mix.
Of the cities remaining, two will be selected to host games for the postseason. Each city will host a total of 12 NHL teams, with eight playing in a “play-in” round and four playing in a round-robin tournament to determine the top four seeds in the conference.
The remaining eight teams after those initial stages will then compete in the usual Stanley Cup Playoff format, with the winner of each of the two hubs facing off in the Stanley Cup Final.
It isn’t clear when the NHL will make its decision, but multiple reports indicate that the decision on which cities will host games could come as soon as this week.
The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the 12 Western Conference teams involved in the tournament, and will take on the Edmonton Oilers in the play-in round.