The Western Hockey League has announced that it has been granted approval by public health officials in Saskatchewan to play in a Hub Center located in Regina, which will allow the WHL’s Saskatchewan and Manitoba based teams in the East Division to open their season on Friday, March 12.
“The WHL appreciates the cooperation we have received from both the Governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba as we work towards a safe return to play in the East Division,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “With our extensive protocols and the necessary approvals now in place, we are looking forward to play getting underway in Regina and allowing our players to continue their development at the highest level in the Canadian system.”
Seven WHL Clubs, which operate in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, will form the East Division, including the Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos, Brandon Wheat Kings, and Winnipeg ICE. The WHL has agreed that all East Division games during the 2020-21 regular season will be played exclusively at the Brandt Centre in Regina, under an approved WHL Hub Center model.
The league will implement an ongoing weekly private PCR testing strategy. If a WHL Club has one or more players or staff test positive for COVID-19 at any point in the season, the Club will be required to suspend its Club activities for a minimum of 14 days.
The WHL’s East Division will play a 24-game regular season schedule, which will be announced at a later date.