Penguins say Pittsburgh won’t be an NHL hub city

The NHL will hold its playoff games at two hub cities. Pittsburgh won't be one of them.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

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.

The Penguins are among 24 teams that are in Phase 2 of the league’s Return to Play program, which consists of small group workouts without coaches. Those 24 teams will eventually be part of an expanded playoff format, with 12 teams committed to each of the two host cities.

Canada’s federal government last week said it would allow the league to quarantine internally, making Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton realistic possibilities.