NHL monitoring situation before choosing where to play games amid coronavirus pandemic

AP photo by Ringo H.W. Chiu / People leave the Staples Center after a public memorial for former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, on Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. Staple Center is one of the possible locations the NHL has zeroed in on to host playoff games if it can return amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league will ultimately decide on two or three locations for games, with government regulations, testing and COVID-19 frequency among the factors for the decision that should be coming within the next three to four weeks.

Concerns about Canadian coronavirus restrictions could push hockey south of the 49th parallel into the United States this summer.

Seven of the 10 locations the NHL has zeroed in on to hold playoff games if it resumes are American cities not restricted by Canada's 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival. As 24 teams figure out how to squeeze an expanded roster and limited personnel into one of two "hub" cities, the Vancouver Canucks are even considering relocating training camp to the United States if the situation doesn't change in the coming weeks.

"It's something that we're thinking about, but also, too, we just want to give it a few more days just to see if something is going to change," Vancouver general manager Jim Benning said Wednesday. "The perfect scenario we'd like to use our facilities.