Kelowna’s Matthew Wedman takes a face-off against his old team the Seattle Thunderbirds. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images)

Kelowna’s Matthew Wedman takes a face-off against his old team the Seattle Thunderbirds. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images)

WHL cancels remaining games of season, hopeful for playoffs at later date

The Kelowna Rockets would have played their last game on March 21

The Kelowna Rockets will not play the remaining five games they had scheduled in the regular season of the Western Hockey League.

On March 18, the league announced the remaining 54 games between all teams would be cancelled. With the playoffs and the Memorial Cup’s status in Kelowna still up in the air, the league made the call for the health and safety of players and personnel as coronavirus precautions grow.

“The WHL takes the safety of our players, officials, staff, fans, and everyone associated with the WHL very seriously,” said WHL commissioner Ron Robison.

“We will continue to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19. We will make every effort possible to conduct the 2020 WHL Playoffs at a later date. We thank WHL fans and partners for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.”

The Kelowna Rockets will be crediting season ticket holders for missed games and refunding single-ticket purchases.

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors add depth with two off-season signings

READ MORE: Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight

The league released the final standings of the season with the 16 teams that would go on to the playoffs if and when the post-season is continued.

The Kelowna Rockets would come in as the 15th playoff team.

“I think it’s great that we’re in, but this is something we’ve never seen before,” said Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton.

“It’s out of our hands with these decisions being made by the health board, but the most important thing is the health of our players, staff and fans.”

Three of the Rockets’ last games were home games, and would have had big playoff implications as the season winded down.

“It is frustrating and a big financial hit, but we’re no different from a whole bunch of local businesses. We just hope that this thing moves along,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton said that the team is keeping busy with off-season scouting as minor hockey leagues have also been cancelled and said that if and when the WHL playoffs do return, a condensed playoff format could be in the works from the league.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Kelowna Rockets

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has implemented extended hours at four landfills, beginning March 1, 2020. (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen extends landfill hours

Summer hours at four facility take effect March 1, 2021.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Contributed)
March 1 snow measurement at Summerland Reservoir above normal

Isintok Lake snow measurements near historical average

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith of Grand Forks, put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland in early February

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

The Vernon Public Art Gallery's new Regional Reach program which sends supplies and lessons to classes, has been a hit in the North Okanagan classrooms. (VPAG photo)
Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Art Gallery’s new Regional Reach program delivers art education to the classrooms

A kaleidescope of colours was captured over Lake Country Sunday, Feb. 28. (Wendey Innes-Shaw photo)
Colourful close to month with North Okanagan sunset

From all angles: Vernon and Lake Country photographers capture sunset Feb. 28

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
Salmon Arm council supports lounge addition at Shuswap winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

Most Read