The CHL suspends gameplay, impacting Kelowna Rockets

CHL suspends operations

UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.

The Kelowna Rockets issued the following brief statement Thursday afternoon following the suspension of all hockey activities within the Canadian Hockey League.

"The Kelowna Rockets are fully supportive of the decision made today collectively by the Canadian Hockey League and Western Hockey League to suspend play this season until further notice.

"The health and safety of our players, staff, guests and community, is of vital importance. We will continue to monitor information and developments provided by the Interior Health Authority, as well as other health authorities across our country.

"Our organization will have more information for season ticket holders and ticket buyers in the near future. We hope to provide an update next week. We appreciate your understanding during these unprecedented events."

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m.

The Canadian Hockey League has officially put a pause on all hockey activities until further notice.

The suspension of play takes place immediately.

In a brief statement released by the CHL this afternoon, president Dan MacKenzie said its three regional leagues, the WHL, OHL and QMJHL take the health and safety of its players, fans, volunteers, staff and the general public very seriously.

"Following consultation with medical professionals and meetings today among the CHL executive council, and regional league board of governors, the CHL announces that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey activity shall be paused immediately until further notice," the statement concluded.

There was no indication how this suspension of play would affect the Memorial Cup, scheduled for Kelowna at the end of May.

UPDATE: 1 p.m.

TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie says the Canadian Hockey League has decided to suspend its season.

McKenzie broke the news on his official Twitter feed.

The CHL has not yet made an official announcement.

A suspension of operations would affect the QMJHL, OHL and WHL, including the Kelowna Rockets.

More information when it becomes available.

ORIGINAL: 11:15 a.m.

The Canadian Hockey League is expected to make an announcement today as to the future of its season.

CHL president Dan MacKenzie and the commissioners of the WHL, OHL and QMJHL are meeting today to evaluate its next steps in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the league does temporarily suspend operations, it would join North America's four major professional league, the NHL, MLB, NBA and MLS, in doing so.

The pandemic has already affected the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips.

Those teams have been forced to play their remaining home games before virtually empty arenas after the governor of Washington State imposed a ban on gatherings of more than 250 people in counties around Seattle, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

Any suspension of operations would include the Kelowna Rockets and, depending how long it lasts, could impact playoffs and the Memorial Cup.

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