Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf stops a shot during a WHL game against the Seattle Thunderbirds on March 8 at ShoWare Center in Kent. (Kevin Clark/The Herald)

Everett goaltender Dustin Wolf stops a shot during a WHL game against the Seattle Thunderbirds on March 8 at ShoWare Center in Kent. (Kevin Clark/The Herald)

Purchase Photo

WHL season canceled because of COVID-19 pandemic

The Canadian Hockey League pulled the plug on the playoffs Monday after initially postponing them.

The 2019-20 Western Hockey League season has officially been canceled.

After the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL’s governing body, shut down the remainder of the regular season last week because of the new coronavirus pandemic, the CHL took the next step Monday afternoon and canceled the playoffs.

“We have 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,” the CHL said in a press release. “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.”

The 2019-2020 WHL season won’t have a champion. There will be a blank spot left in the record books.

Nor will there be a 2020 Memorial Cup champion. The WHL’s Kelowna Rockets were set to host the annual tournament in late May. The Memorial Cup pits the champions of the CHL’s three leagues — the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League — and the team from the host city in a round-robin format. The OHL is scheduled to host next year.

This is the first season the Memorial Cup won’t be awarded in the trophy’s 102-year history.

“(I’m) not surprised at all,” Silvertips general manager Garry Davidson said. “I just didn’t see how we would be able to probably have to move the Memorial Cup and have enough time to have a playoff. It’s really disappointing for many reasons, but not surprising at all with the way things are going out there.”

Bryce Kindopp, the Silvertips captain, said Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams sent a message to the players before the official announcement at 3 p.m. PDT.

Once reports on social media started to trickle in, the reality started to finally sink in.

“Obviously (the season being shut down) was always in the back of my head,” Kindopp said. “With the team we had, we felt like we could go a long way. In the back of my mind, I knew this day could come. But I didn’t want it to.”

The Everett Silvertips finished the 2019-2020 season with the most wins in the WHL with 47 and the least goals allowed at 142. The Scotty Munro Trophy, awarded to the team with the most regular-season points, goes to the Portland Winterhawks, who finished one point ahead of Everett with 97. Portland possessed three more “loser points” than Everett because of three more shootout losses.

The CHL pulling the plug on the postseason officially ends the careers of Silvertips overagers Kindopp, Wyatte Wylie and Jake Christiansen. All three were drafted by the Silvertips and played a combined 835 regular-season and 136 playoff games for the organization.

All three will play professional hockey, at some level, after signing professional contracts with NHL teams this spring. Christiansen is a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, Wylie is a Philadelphia Flyers prospect and Kindopp is an Anaheim Ducks prospect.

It’s also possible the WHL careers of Cole Fonstad and Gianni Fairbrother concluded with Monday’s announcement. Both are Montreal Canadiens prospects and will be eligible to play in the American Hockey League for the first time next season.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Austin Johnson, 26 years-old, trains on the Centennial Trail in Lake Stevens and is planning to do a 24-hour run to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
24 hours, 80 miles, $23k raised for mental health

Austin Johnson completes a 24-hour run along the Centennial Trail to raise money for suicide prevention.

Everett Silvertips' Jake Christiansen takes a shot on goal during the game on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Silvertips release abbreviated 24-game schedule

Everett will open its season against Spokane at Angel of the Winds Arena on March 20.

Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert passes the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against San Diego in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Gonzaga’s Kispert finalist for Erving Award

The Edmonds native is among the final five to be the top small forward in college basketball.

A law enforcement officer looks over a damaged vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
L.A. sheriff calls Tiger Woods crash ‘purely an accident’

Deputies saw no evidence the golf star was impaired by drugs or alcohol after Tuesday’s rollover.

Quarterback Tanner Jellison runs a play with running backs Jay Roughton, left, and Trayce Hanks as the Lake Stevens High School football team conducts its first practice, marking the first day of practice for fall sports in the Wesco division, on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Wesco high school sports teams’ long layoff finally ends

For the first time in more than 450 days, Wesco fall athletes gathered for official practices.

Arizona Diamondbacks' Travis Snider singles against the Texas Rangers during a spring training baseball game Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Community sports roundup: Ex-Jackson star Snider joins Braves

Plus, a former Monroe QB is excelling at Whitworth, the Silvertips sign a former T-bird, and more.

High School football teams across Snohomish County are closing in on their first game in over a year. (Herald file photos)
Prep football: Key games and the area’s complete schedule

The first H.S. football game in the county in over a year is set to take place this coming Friday.

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto talks about the suspension of second baseman Robinson Cano, before the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Seattle. Cano was suspended 80 games for violating baseball's joint drug agreement. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Mariners doing damage control with players after Mather’s video

GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais say the players involved have every right to be upset.

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2018, file photo, Seattle Mariners president Kevin Mather stands on the field before the team's baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Seattle. Mather apologized late Sunday night, Feb. 21, 2021, for comments made during a recent online event where he expressed opinions about organizational strategy, personnel moves and club finances. Mather’s comments came in a speech to the Bellevue, Wash., Breakfast Rotary Club on Feb. 5 and were posted online over the weekend. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Mariners CEO Mather resigns after derogatory remarks surface

He made insensitive comments about players from Japan and the Dominican Republic for their English skills.

Most Read