NHL, Canadian authorities trying to clear path for cross-border travel for teams in playoffs, per report

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The NHL’s realignment that included the creation of an all-Canadian North Division for the 2020-21 season solved the issue of travel restrictions between Canada and the United States for the regular season. 

Now that the NHL playoffs are in full swing, the league and health authorities are working on a way to open the border, allowing the winner of the North Division to go to the U.S. for the final rounds of the playoffs and U.S. teams to enter Canada, according to the Canadian Press

Authorities are working on an exemption that would allow teams to go to Canada without the current mandatory 14 day isolation that is required by the country for all nonessential travelers. 

According to the Canadian Press, the league is working with Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal, with the Jets, Maple Leafs and Canadiens still alive in the chase for the Stanley Cup. Federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino will have the final approval on the matter.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Canadian Press that it is “a work in progress.”

One option on the table is to have the Canadian team relocate to the U.S., as other Canadian sports teams like the NBA‘s Toronto Raptors and MLB‘s Toronto Blue Jays have done this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NHL has essentially avoided travel over the border thanks to the all-Canadian division.

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