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Rockets comment on 2020 Playoffs and Memorial Cup cancellation

On March 12, 2020, in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), in association with our three regional leagues the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), made the decision to pause our season and last week officially cancelled all remaining regular season games.

The CHL has continued to monitor the latest updates and advice from all public health agencies and medical experts, and worked tirelessly to determine a scenario by which the balance of our season could be played. Unfortunately, given the troubling state of our global climate and public welfare, there is still too much risk and uncertainty to move forward in good conscience.

With that in mind, CHL President Dan MacKenzie and Commissioners David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison have made the difficult decision to cancel the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL playoffs, and along with the support of Kia Canada as the presenting sponsor, to cancel the 2020 Memorial Cup which was scheduled to be held in Kelowna, B.C., May 22-31, 2020.

“We are truly devastated to not be bringing this event to Kelowna in May,” says 2020 Memorial Cup Committee Chair, Tom Dyas. “We’ve been working so hard with our local committee, partners, sponsors and volunteers over the last year and having to cancel this event is something that we never expected. We know that the health and safety of the community needs to come first, so we are supportive of the CHL’s decision to cancel the 2020 Memorial Cup.”

The CHL, WHL, OHL, and QMJHL all take great pride in providing the best environment for the players both on and off the ice with health and safety for them, and all stakeholders of the game, at the forefront.

“These are unprecedented times in our leagues, it will be the first time that a team isn’t hoisting a Memorial Cup at the end of the season,” says Bruce Hamilton, Owner, President and General Manager of the Kelowna Rockets. “We had a lot of discussions within our leagues and with the CHL over the past weeks. It was a tough decision to cancel the Memorial Cup, but with the uncertainty right now, we feel that it is the right one.”

With regards to ticketing for the playoffs and those who have purchased Memorial Cup packages, we will be sending out an update in the next day or two. As you can imagine there is a lot of work ahead of us and we would kindly ask for your patience as we navigate this unfortunate situation as quickly as we can.

The CHL is now looking forward with hope that next season will provide new opportunity to celebrate, and that the Memorial Cup will be presented at our prestigious national championship, hosted by the OHL in May 2021.

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