NHL cancels Oilers press conference, cites negotiations with federal government
Published Saturday, July 11, 2020 6:24PM MDT
EDMONTON -- The National Hockey League made it official on Friday. Toronto and Edmonton will be the host cities for all playoff games.
The NHL, Edmonton Oilers, Alberta's Premier and Edmonton’s mayor were supposed to provide details about what being a hub city means on Saturday, but less than an hour before it was scheduled, the NHL cancelled it.
“While we believe we’re buttoned down at the provincial level in Ontario and Alberta there’s still a couple of details that we’re just finalizing with the federal government,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman during a conference call Saturday morning.
The NHL would not tell CTV News Edmonton what those details are.
Despite the day's news, Alberta politicians were in a celebratory mood heading into the weekend.
“A score for Edmonton!,” said the city’s mayor Don Iveson in a statement Friday.
“We can’t wait to delight hockey fans and show off everything our beautiful city has to offer,” he said.
While Premier Jason Kenney posted a video, shot outside Rogers Place shortly after the announcement.
“One of the core reasons the NHL is coming here as opposed to some of the big American cities that were offering subsidies and all kinds of hand outs is because we have the lowest level of infections and hospitalizations of any NHL city,” he said.
The Premier expects it will bring about 2,000 jobs to Edmonton while pumping $60 million into the economy at a time when Alberta needs it most.
“That alone is not going to turn around our economy but it’s a great shot in the arm. It’s a great morale boost. It’s a great job creator,” said Kenney.