WHL hockey could start back up in early October if everything goes according to plan. (Black Press Media file photo)

WHL hockey could hit the ice in October

Start date ‘contingent on receiving the necessary approvals from government and health authorities’

The Western Hockey League has a plan to get teams back on the ice for the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season, with hopes of starting up by early October.

On Wednesday, the Return to Play protocol was announced to “facilitate discussions on a timely start” to the season.

The WHL has appointed special task forces in each of the six jurisdictions in WHL territory. Those groups will work with government and health authorities to ensure the health and safety of players, staff, officials and fans.

READ ALSO: BC Hockey cancels all provincial championships due to COVID-19 outbreak

The outcome of these discussions with government authorities will ultimately determine the start date for the season, but a target date of Oct. 2 has been set by the WHL. According to a press release, the start date “remains contingent on receiving the necessary approvals from government and health authorities” in the six jurisdictions. The release also states the WHL will complete a full 68-game schedule for the season, regardless of when it begins.

READ ALSO: WHL pauses season amid COVID-19 concerns, Victoria Royals cancel weekend games

Work is also being done to determine the level of spectator capacities at each WHL club arena.

A new streaming service is set to launch at the beginning of the 2020-21 season. In partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, WHL fans can see all CHL leagues under one streaming service. More details are expected to be released in the future.


 

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