WHL season suspended ‘until further notice’

The Silvertips’ regular season is on hold because of the threat of the coronavirus

The Western Hockey League on Thursday suspended its season in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

All hockey activities, including practices and meetings, are prohibited until next Tuesday morning, Everett Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said.

The commissioners of the three organizations that make up the Canadian Hockey League — Ron Robison of the WHL, David Branch of the Ontario Hockey League and Gilles Courtes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League — met Thursday with CHL president Dan McKenzie and determined the season would be temporarily suspended.

“Following consultation with medical professionals and meetings today with the CHL Board of Directors, it was determined that all hockey activity in the WHL will be paused until further notice,” the WHL said in a statement.

“Our goal is to return to play when it is safe and reasonable to do so,” WHL commissioner Ron Robison said in the same statement.

Darren Dreger, a reporter for TSN, reported that CHL players will be allowed to return to their homes, but no Silvertips went home, Davidson said. Everett’s players are being advised to stay with their billet families and “hang low,” he said.

The Silvertips practiced Thursday morning but did not travel to Kennewick as originally planned. Everett was scheduled to play at Tri-City on Friday night, at Portland on Saturday and back at Tri-City on Sunday. The Silvertips have five games remaining in the regular season. They are one point behind first-place Portland in the U.S. Division and have clinched a playoff spot.

It’s not certain whether the suspension of play will shorten the season.

Bruce Hamilton, the president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, the host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup, told the Vancouver Province that preparations for the tournament are “rolling full speed ahead.” The Memorial Cup, scheduled for May 22-31, is the CHL’s annual four-team championship tournament that includes the winner of each league, as well as the host team.

Hamilton said Kelowna is looking into the availability of Prospera Place, the Rockets’ home arena, in June, if necessary.

The announcement of the league pausing play came a day after the Silvertips announced they would play their remaining regular-season home game, on March 20, without fans after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee banned all gatherings, including sporting events, of more than 250 people in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties..

The suspension of play in the WHL comes after several professional sports leagues, including the NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, did the same Thursday. The NBA suspended its season Wednesday night after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Aimelie Hovde-Girard, right, chats with Payton Wold as they row along the Snohomish River with the Everett Rowing Association on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Everett, Washington. The rowers usually compete in teams of eight, but due to COVID-19, most row single sculls.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Despite pandemic, it’s full steam ahead for Everett rowers

The rowing association finds ways to continue their sport, both virtually and on the water.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) dives in for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks free safety Quandre Diggs (37) during last Sunday’s game in Glendale, Ariz. The Arizona Cardinals won in overtime. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart)
POLL RESULTS: Seahawks fans are feeling concerned

More than three-quarters of responders have some level of concern, despite Seattle being 5-1.

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, file photo, then-Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich walks the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Boise State, in Boise, Idaho. It took nine months for Rolovich, the new Washington State football coach, to conduct his first practice with the Cougars after the coronavirus led to the cancellation of spring practice and delays in the start of the 2020 season. Rolovich was hired from Hawaii in January after Mike Leach left for Mississippi State. (AP Photo/Steve Conner, File)
Washington State will feature new coach, quarterback

Nick Rolovich has big shoes to fill, but his outgoing personality is winning over the Palouse.

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean Luc Baker of the US compete in the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance during the ISU figure skating France’s Trophy, in Grenoble, French Alps, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Kamiak grad earns silver medal in ice dancing at Skate America

It’s the second Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal for Jean-Luc Baker.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) on the sidelines during an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
AP source: Seahawks land DE Carlos Dunlap from Bengals

The pass rusher amassed 46 sacks for Cincinnati from 2015-19.

Seattle Seahawks fans watch prior to Seattle’s game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Grading the Seahawks’ loss to the Cardinals

It’s poor marks all around as Seattle lets one slip away in overtime.

This is a 2020 photo of Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. This image reflects the Mariners active roster as of Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, when this image was taken.
M’s prospect Julio Rodriguez makes up for lost time in Arizona

His mixture of size, athleticism and talent has led many to believe he will be the team’s next star.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf tackles Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) short of the goal line after Baker intercepted a pass during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Hawks let game slip away, but Metcalf’s play was one for the ages

His astonishing TD-saving pursuit was in no way diminished by Seattle’s disappointing OT loss.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) gets the throw off as Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kylie Fitts makes the hit during the second half of Seattle’s 37-34 overtime loss Sunday at State Farm Stadium. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
POLL: Is there cause for concern for the Seahawks?

Was Sunday’s overtime loss to Arizona a blip on the radar, or something to worry about?

Most Read