The most prestigious trophy in junior hockey will go unclaimed this year, as the Canadian Hockey League officially announced the cancellation of all playoffs, plus the Memorial Cup, as COVID-19 continues to spread.
The Memorial Cup tournament was set to run from May 22–31 in Kelowna, British Columbia, and the respective postseasons of each member league — the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL —were set to kick off this week.
This will be the first time in 102 years that the trophy won’t be handed out to the national major junior hockey champ.
The #CHL and regional leagues have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Playoffs and @CHLMemorialCup.
We look forward with hope that next season will provide new opportunity to celebrate and that the #MemorialCup may be presented.
FULL 📰: https://t.co/Jq67zZGpDv pic.twitter.com/K1VfeLdzN1
— CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) March 23, 2020
It’s clear the CHL exhausted all its options, but simply couldn’t find a viable path forward.
“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. 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 league wrote in a statement Monday.
“With that in mind, CHL President Dan MacKenzie and Commissioners David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison have made the difficult decision to cancel the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL playoffs, and along with the support of Kia Canada as the presenting sponsor, to cancel the 2020 Memorial Cup which was scheduled to be held in Kelowna, B.C., May 22-31, 2020.”
Each member league of the CHL, including the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, took their turns announcing the official cancellations of their respective regular seasons throughout the evening last Wednesday.
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