Sources: Las Vegas favorite for NHL hub site of Stanley Cup Playoffs

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KOLKATA, INDIA – 2020/03/25: In this photo illustration a National Hockey League (NHL) logo seen displayed on a smartphone with a computer model of the COVID-19 coronavirus the background. (Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(AP) — The National Hockey League has begun winnowing its possible locations to restart the season amid the coronavirus 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.

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