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

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.

Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton on the WHL’s decision to pause the regular seasonIt took less than two weeks for the league to go from suspending play to cancelling all remaining regular-season games and eventually to pull the plug on the season outright, illustrating just how rapidly the sports landscape, like so much else, has changed during the pandemic.

“There’s so much bigger problems in the world right now that we can’t even begin to worry about what we feel as hockey players or as managers, that we don’t get to see a playoff.

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