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NHL looking for Canadian travel exemption for playoffs

The National Hockey League (NHL) and health authorities are working on a travel exemption that would let the winner of the all-Canadian North Division and an American opponent cross the border during the final two rounds of the playoffs, including the Stanley Cup Final.

The exemption would let teams enter Canada for games without having to isolate for 14 days, as is currently required for non-essential travellers due to the pandemic.

The winner between Montreal and Toronto will play the Jets in the North Division final. The winner of that series will face one of three American division winners in the league semifinals.

Cross-border travel in the NHL has been almost non-existent since the pandemic hit the US. For this season, the league put all seven Canadian teams in one division, and they exclusively played each other to avoid cross-border travel.

Other Canadian professional sports teams have had to relocate to the US to avoid cross-border travel, including Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC, CF Montreal and Vancouver Whitecaps who have relocated to Florida or Utah. Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays started their season playing home games in Dunedin, Florida, and will call Buffalo, New York, home starting Tuesday.

Author: Jake Wilkin

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