Seattle’s Mekai Sanders maneuvers the puck up the ice during WHL play Feb. 23 at the accesso ShoWare Center. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Seattle’s Mekai Sanders maneuvers the puck up the ice during WHL play Feb. 23 at the accesso ShoWare Center. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds

Season start delayed again for Seattle Thunderbirds, rest of WHL

Games had been scheduled to start Jan. 8; new start date undetermined

There’s been another delay to the start of the Western Hockey League season for the Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds and the rest of the teams.

The Calgary, Alberta-based WHL announced Dec. 15 it will delay the start of the 2020-21 regular season, and following further consultation with regional health authorities, the Board of Governors will meet in January to consider potential start dates.

With public health restrictions in place across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest due to COVID-19, the WHL is not in a position to start its season as planned on Jan. 8, according to a league statement.

The T-Birds play their home games at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. The regular season typically goes from September to March.

The WHL will continue to work with government and health authorities in the region as it considers schedule options for the 2020-21 season, according to a league statement. The league has developed a series of protocols in consultation with health authorities that are necessary to protect players, staff, officials and fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We continue to make every effort to get our season started, but our first priority has always been the health and safety of our players, and everyone associated with the WHL,” said Commissioner Ron Robison. “Given the public health restrictions that are currently in effect, we are not in a position to determine a new target date for our season. We will continue to consult with health authorities to determine when it is safe and responsible to get our season started.”

The league halted the 2019-2020 regular season in March and never resumed play due to COVID-19.

About the WHL

Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the WHL consists of 22 member clubs with 17 in Western Canada and five in the Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the NHL for over 50 years.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Dion Earl/File Photo
Former Kent pro soccer team owner sentenced for tax fraud

Dion Earl receives another year in prison in addition to sexual assault sentences

Kentwood football. FILE PHOTO
Limited number of fans can attend Kent high school games

Change in policy that banned fans due to COVID-19 restrictions

Seattle Thunderbirds captains/assistant captains Henrik Rybinski, Keltie Jeri-Leon, Matthew Rempe and Tyrel Bauer. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse/Thunderbirds
T-Birds name captains for Western Hockey League season

Henrik Rybinski, Keltie Jeri-Leon, Matthew Rempe and Tyrel Bauer

Conner Roulette (34) returns for the shortened Seattle Thunderbirds season that begins Friday, March 19 against Spokane at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Lieese, Thunderbirds
T-Birds players pumped to return to play at ShoWare Center in Kent

Western Hockey League opener set for March 19

Kentlake High players practice in preparation for playing Kentwood on Friday night, March 12. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter
No fans to be allowed at NPSL, Kent high school games

COVID-19 protocol to keep spectators away; games to be livestreamed

Courtesy Photo, Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds
Four T-Birds games to be shown on television in March

Three against Portland, one against Spokane on JOEtv

t
High school football players prepare for showtime in Kent

After seven-month delay, teams hit the practice field

Lucas Ciona is expected to be one of the Seattle Thunderbirds players who will return to play in March at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds, city of Kent modify agreement so hockey can return to ShoWare Center

Portland Winterhawks also expected to play home games in Kent

Cade McNelly of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2019-2020 season. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
Seattle Thunderbirds to open hockey season against Spokane March 19 in Kent

No fans to be allowed at games; WHL offers streaming service

courtesy photo
Don McConnaughey
Longtime Highline College coach, athletic director dies at 90

Don McConnaughey was the ‘architect of the Highline College athletic department.’