B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province
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VICTORIA -- British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix says a plan has been approved in principle to allow the Western Hockey League to resume operations in the province.
Dix said Monday that a “series of variances” are still required from public health authorities, but he said he expects the five teams in the league's B.C. Division - the Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals - to play this season.
Teams in the league's other three divisions have already been cleared to play by state and provincial governments and public health authorities.
The start of the 2020-21 season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Play finally began Feb. 26 with the league's Alberta-based teams. Teams in the U.S. Division are scheduled to start March 19 while the East Division, with teams based in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, has been cleared to play in a bubble environment.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was the only league under the Canadian Hockey League to start its season at its traditional time, but pandemic-related issues have caused several interruptions.
The Ontario Hockey League has yet to announce plans for a season.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.