The Ontario Hockey League has cancelled its 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The choice on Tuesday means the OHL would be the solely one in every of Canada’s three main junior hockey leagues to not maintain a 2020-21 marketing campaign.
The league says it reached an settlement on a return-to-play plan with the Ontario authorities earlier this month.
Nevertheless, the OHL says the just lately prolonged stay-at-home order together with rising instances of COVID-19 throughout the province made it unimaginable to have a season.
“Now we have labored tirelessly with the province and the chief medical officer of well being for the previous 12 months on completely different situations and completely different home windows of alternative however the actuality is the circumstances in Ontario have by no means been proper to start out and full an uninterrupted, protected alternative for gamers to showcase their abilities,” mentioned OHL commissioner David Department.
“We owe it to our gamers and their households to be definitive. We had been dedicated to return and play this season, however our hopes and needs have been dashed by the merciless realities of COVID-19.”
Shortened season in hub cities was deliberate
Final week, Ontario’s minister of sport says it might be “irresponsible” to approve a return to play.
Sports activities Minister Lisa MacLeod famous the province was days away from approving the OHL’s plan to return to play in late March when the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic started in earnest in Ontario.
The league says the plan was to carry a shortened season in hub cities, a mannequin utilized by some divisions within the Quebec Main Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League.
The QMJHL began its season round its ordinary date in October with Quebec groups staying within the province and Maritime groups strictly taking part in in their very own division. Nevertheless, the marketing campaign was interrupted a number of instances by COVID-19 outbreaks. Groups performed a most of 40 regular-season video games, down from the same old 64. The league plans to crown a champion.
The WHL began earlier this 12 months with groups solely taking part in inside their divisions, and a few taking part in in hubs. The league cancelled its playoffs on Monday night time.
The Canadian Hockey League cancelled the Memorial Cup — Canada’s main junior championship, on April 13 — per week after Ontario Premier Doug Ford introduced a stay-at-home order to attempt to gradual the unfold of the virus. It had been scheduled to be held in both Oshawa, Ont., or Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
WATCH | 100 days from Tokyo: How a lot will COVID-19 have an effect on the Olympics?: