The Western Hockey League will not have playoffs following the shortened 24-game schedule.
In an announcement Monday, the league said with the continued public health concerns and orders in place across Western Canada, it’s just not feasible to play more games than they’ve committed to this year.
“When we returned to play in February, we set out with the intention of completing a 24-game regular season schedule, knowing adjustments would be needed along the way,” said WHL Commissioner Ron Robison in a news release.
“We remained hopeful that public health conditions would improve, but unfortunately that is not the reality we see in front of us today. The ongoing challenges with non-essential interprovincial and international cross-border travel leaves us no alternative but to cancel the 2021 WHL playoffs.”
The Central Division season is winding down, with teams having anywhere between 10 and five games left on the schedule. The season is expected to wrap up by May 10.
When the season does finish, the league will recognize individual award winners from each WHL Division, different from the traditional celebration of conference-based award winners. The 2021 WHL Awards will culminate with honourees in each major awards category on a League-wide basis.
The awards will be celebrated digitally following the conclusion of the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season.