Advertisement

Coronavirus: CHL, WHL seasons suspended ‘until further notice’

Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton on the WHL’s decision to pause the regular season
An extended interview with Kelowna Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton on the halt to WHL play due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The junior hockey world has joined the professional sports world in pressing pause on its season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and Western Hockey League have confirmed that their seasons are on pause “until further notice.”

Kelowna Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton emphasized that the WHL season is paused, not cancelled, and is hoping they will be able to resume play.

He said the decision to pause the season was first and foremost about player safety.

“You are dealing with young athletes. When these players come to play with us, their parents leave them here and it is our responsibility to make sure they are taken care of,” Hamilton said.

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets win right to host 2020 Memorial Cup

Story continues below advertisement

The news comes as the NHL announced Thursday it is suspending its season.

READ MORE: NHL suspends its season amid coronavirus pandemic

The decision is being watched closely in Kelowna, B.C., which is scheduled to host the 2020 Memorial Cup in May.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

At this point, Hamilton said plans for the Memorial Cup are still moving forward.

“We are still marching straight ahead [with the Memorial Cup], that’s been the marching orders from the CHL,” said Hamilton.

“That is still 10 weeks out. It’s a long ways away.”

The Memorial Cup tournament brings together the winning teams from the CHL’s three member leagues — the Ontario Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League — and the host city’s team.

Story continues below advertisement