NHL removes Columbus from list of potential hub cities

Nationwide Arena in Columbus will not host the NHL playoffs this season.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The National Hockey League has begun winnowing its possible locations to resume the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blue Jackets were informed Monday that Columbus will not be one of the NHL’s hub cities. Columbus was one of 10 finalists, including seven in the U.S.

Las Vegas is now considered the U.S. favorite 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.