EVERETT — Players for the Everett Silvertips have a home for the 2020-21 regular season.
The Silvertips and Everett Community College announced an agreement Wednesday to host players in student housing during the shortened 24-game season.
Everett’s billeting program, where players stay with host families, has been paused to respect local health and safety protocols put in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The program is expected to resume at a later date, according to a press release.
Silvertips players will be the sole residents residing in a section of a student housing building, ensuring an insulated environment to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The Silvertips are tremendously excited to move forward with Everett Community College as an exclusive housing partner for the 2020-21 WHL season,” Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said in a press release. “The pandemic has forced us, along with many others in this situation, to consider creative options to allow a return to play and do it in a safe manner. Everett Community College has been a terrific association from the beginning since this idea was introduced, and has enthusiastically committed to an environment that ensures the safety of our players. In turn, we commit to be the best guests possible, and reside in a responsible and respectful manner.”
Access to that section of the building is reserved for players and student housing resident assistants only. Other EvCC students living on campus are currently residing in the college’s other student housing building. Under EvCC COVID-19 rules, no guests are allowed in student housing without prior approval.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with the Silvertips for the upcoming WHL season,” EvCC interim Dean of Student Development Mike Bowers said. “While many of our students continue to study remotely, helping hockey safely return to Everett is a way for us to contribute to our community and provide a much-needed distraction as we continue to work towards an eventual return to normal from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The WHL has developed an extensive set of protocols to provide a safe environment for players and staff, and to protect individuals in the community. The WHL will implement an ongoing weekly private antigen testing strategy. Enhanced screening for all WHL players, team staff and officials will take place on a daily basis, including regular temperature screenings as well as symptom monitoring.
When participating in games and practices, players must wear gaiter-style masks while on the bench. Officials will be required to wear gaiter masks when on the ice. Coaches and other team personnel will be required to wear masks at all times, including while conducting practice and while behind the bench during games.
The Silvertips will open the 2020-21 regular season at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 20 against the Spokane Chiefs at Angel of the Winds Arena. No spectators will be permitted to enter WHL facilities until further notice. Streamed opening night coverage will be offered for free via WHL Live, with full season packages and single-day passes available at https://watch.chl.ca/.