Tuesday, 3 Oct 2023

WHL players, staff reflect on season being cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Mother Nature seems to have a sense of irony. As a late-winter snowfall arrived Saskatchewan this week, junior hockey fans across the province were just beginning to face the reality that their favourite cold-weather distraction is officially done for the season.

The Canadian Hockey League announced Monday that the 2020 playoffs and Memorial Cup would be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision affects all three members of the CHL including the Western Hockey League, which features five teams based in Saskatchewan.

Saskatoon Blades president and general manager Colin Priestner had been waiting for the other shoe to drop ever since the WHL initially suspended play, but said that didn’t make hearing the news any easier.

“They knew there was no way to look out and say how are we gonna play hockey games to thousands of people in a month or two. It’s just not practical. So it was tough news because we all had to deal with the finality of it,” he said.

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