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Strong support for NHL playoffs taking place in Edmonton: poll

A large majority of respondents appear to back NHL playoff games being held in the Alberta capital.

A public opinion poll from the Alberta government indicates 79 per cent of those polled support Edmonton hosting some Stanley Cup playoff games under conditions approved by the chief medical officer of health.

According to a Government of Alberta survey, 79 per cent of respondents support some form of Stanley Cup play in Edmonton.
According to a Government of Alberta survey, 79 per cent of respondents support some form of Stanley Cup play in Edmonton. Government of Alberta

Fifty-three per cent strongly support the idea while another 26 per cent are somewhat supportive.

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Edmonton is one of three Canadian markets the NHL has identified as a potential hub for the playoffs, along with Vancouver and Toronto.

READ MORE: Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto hope to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

Should officials permit NHL action in Edmonton, games would take place in the summer.

“Safety must be the top priority,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw has said. “In order to make this happen, all levels of government and the NHL will have to collaborate and find creative solutions.”

Alberta developing guidelines to allow Edmonton to be an NHL hub city
Alberta developing guidelines to allow Edmonton to be an NHL hub city

However, league officials have said if a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days was needed for entering Canada, as is currently the federal policy, hosting games north of the border would not be possible.

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“If we’re not able to really get an interpretation of the quarantine consistent with our players’ ability to travel in and not have to do a strict self-quarantine in a hotel room … we won’t be in a position to use any of the Canadian cities as a hub city,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said at the end of May. “So we’re faced with having to find a solution to that. And hopefully we can.”

READ MORE: Canadian cities won’t be chosen as NHL hubs if players must quarantine in hotel rooms: league

Should the games resume, a 24-team playoff would take place, with the Oilers taking on the Chicago Blackhawks.