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Thursday’s FTB: NWHL coming to Toronto, will the NHL follow?

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Will hockey actually happen?

2016 Isobel Cup - Game 2 Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for NWHL

Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

Yesterday we got some actual tidbits and news to talk about, so let’s get right into things.

First off the National Women’s Hockey League announced they would be expanding into Toronto. filling the hole that the CWHL left when it shut down.

People are really excited - even those who never bothered to go to a Furies game when they were active in Toronto - but some people aren’t. The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association isn’t having much to do with this push into Canada:

The NHL meanwhile is poking around some plans of their own. First off it’s the draft, which may happen before the playoffs?

Will the NHL resume play? According to ESPN the NHL is looking at hosting teams in four NHL cities to get things going again.

But NHL sources said the “neutral site” idea never got off the drawing board, due to problems with player accommodations, facilities for league and team staff, and the inability to bring multiple broadcasting crews to cover potential Stanley Cup playoff games. NHL Players’ Association executive director Don Fehr said there had been no discussions about specific neutral sites with the NHL either.

Instead, the league is looking at regional NHL arenas, aligned by division, where teams could potentially finish their seasons. Sources told ESPN that the current favorites are the home rinks for the Carolina Hurricanes (Metropolitan Division), Edmonton Oilers (Pacific Division) and Minnesota Wild (Central Division). A front-runner from the Atlantic Division has yet to emerge.

Gary Bettman joined Ron MacLean for what is probably a more softball interview than they’ve previously had.

Mitch Marner is recruiting new defenders for the Leafs:

The NFL draft is a work from home event and some GM’s are installing 27 TV’s to get through it.

Tomas Kaberle is still playing delivery driver for his wife’s restaurant.

That was actual hockey stuff! What fun!

Enjoy your day folks, and remember: Try not to sneeze directly into each others mouths.