The Western Hockey League announced on Friday it has been granted approval by public health officials from the Government of Saskatchewan to play in a hub in Regina, allowing the league’s Saskatchewan- and Manitoba-based teams in the East Division to begin play amid the pandemic on Friday, March 12.
Central Division action is slated to begin on Friday, Feb. 26, and U.S. Division play will get underway on Friday, March 19.
The B.C. Division has not been granted return-to-play approval from the provincial health authority.
Weekly COVID-19 testing is among protocols established by the league, which will “provide a high standard of safety for not only players and staff, but the Regina community at large,” according to a league press release.
Seven WHL Clubs will form the East Division, including the Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos, Brandon Wheat Kings and Winnipeg Ice.
The WHL has agreed East Division games during the 2020-2021 campaign will be played exclusively at the Brandt Centre in Regina, under the approved hub centre model.
Each of the league’s teams will aim to play 24 games. No spectators are permitted to enter WHL facilities.