SJHL cancels 2020-21 season after province rejects return to play submission

·1 min read
The SJHL was only able to play a handful of games last November before it was shut down.  (Matt Smith/The Canadian Press - image credit)
The SJHL was only able to play a handful of games last November before it was shut down. (Matt Smith/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) has officially cancelled the rest of the 2020-21 season.

The league opened the season in early November, but was only able to play a handful of games before shutting down a few weeks later.

In a news release SJHL president Bill Chow said the provincial government rejected the league's proposals outlining how it could return to play.

"The SJHL will now turn its focus on returning to play in September of 2021, and having a complete season ending with the crowning of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champion," he said.

Hockey bubble proposal

The league was hoping to play in a bubble similar to the Western Hockey League's setup. All of the Saskatchewan- and Manitoba-based WHL teams are playing their games in the capital. The teams were quarantined separately before the season started and live at the University of Regina.

However, with the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, it didn't look like the SJHL would be able to resume games within the next few weeks and so the decision was made to cancel the rest of the season.

No one from the provincial government was immediately available to comment on the decision.

The SJHL is a 12-team junior-A league for players 20-under.

In January, the province gave the SJHL $1 million in funding to help it stay afloat.