The Western Hockey League is delaying the start of its 2020-21 WHL season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

The Western Hockey League is delaying the start of its 2020-21 WHL season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

WHL season postponed again

Board of Governors will meet in January to discuss new start date

The Western Hockey League won’t start as planned on Jan. 8.

In an announcement Tuesday, the league said with public health restrictions in place across Western Canada and the North Western U.S., it won’t be possible to start play next month.

The league originally planned to start its 2021-22 season on Dec. 4, before pushing the season back to January.

“We continue to make every effort to get our season started, but our first priority has always been the health and safety of our players, and everyone associated with the WHL,” said WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.

“Given the public health restrictions that are currently in effect, we are not in a position to determine a new target date for our season. We will continue to consult with health authorities to determine when it is safe and responsible to get our season started.”

The league’s Board of Governors will meet in January to consider new potential start dates.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League opened its season on Oct. 2 and has been marred with delays through the year. They suspended play in both of the Quebec-based divisions for two-weeks in Oct. because of the pandemic.

In November, the league announced it would pause the season from Dec. 1 to Jan. 3, because of concerns with the pandemic.

The Ontario Hockey League plans to open its regular season on Feb. 4, playing a 40 game season– with training camps starting on Jan 23.