By Yoos, Cam on June 18, 2020.
The Western Hockey League concluded its annual general meeting via conference call Wednesday afternoon, highlighted by the announcement of the WHL Return to Play initiative for the 2020-21 WHL regular season.
The WHL has targeted a start date of Oct. 2 for the 2020-21 WHL regular season, but this date remains contingent on receiving the necessary approvals from government and health authorities in each of the six jurisdictions in WHL territory. The WHL is committed to protecting the integrity of the WHL regular season schedule, and fully intends to complete a full 68-game schedule for 2020-21, regardless of when the season begins.
The WHL has appointed special task forces in each of the six jurisdictions to work directly with government and health authorities to ensure the health and safety of WHL players, staff, officials, and fans are a top priority in the Return to Play protocol. The outcome of these discussions with government authorities will ultimately determine the start date for the regular season.
The WHL is also working with government and health authorities in each jurisdiction on the level of spectator capacities that will be permitted in each WHL arena facility.
It was also announced Wednesday that the WHL, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is sharing in the development of a brand-new streaming service set to launch with the beginning of the 2020-21 regular season. Fans can look forward to all three CHL leagues housed under one streaming service, with a new digital platform developed by an entirely new partner available on new devices. Further details including the new streaming service provider, pricing and packaging, will be announced at a later date.