CHL cancels playoffs and Memorial Cup tournament
The Canadian Hockey League has announced the playoffs of its three affiliated circuits and the Memorial Cup tournament have been canceled due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
C ette announcement comes six days after the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League had announced the cancellation of the rest of the regular season on March 17. The Ontario League and the Western League made the same decision the next day.
The CHL announced the suspension of the regular season for the three circuits on March 12 to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The most recent updates and directives issued by provincial and federal health agencies made the presentation of the playoff games unthinkable.
“With the evolution of the crisis over the past few days, there were no longer any potential scenarios in which the playoffs were realistic,” said the QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau in a press release. This is an exceedingly difficult time for our society and this sad episode goes far beyond the borders of hockey. That is why it is essential to make responsible decisions.
“It was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make in my career,” he added.
It is the first time in 102 years that a champion at the major junior level has not been determined in Canada.
The Memorial Cup tournament was scheduled to take place May 22 to 31 in Kelowna, British Columbia. The host city for the 2021 edition has not yet been chosen.
The QMJHL has specified that it will make various announcements in the coming weeks with regard to the draft and the lottery.