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OHL regular season officially cancelled

The Ontario Hockey League regular season is over due to COVID-19 while the playoffs remain up in the air
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File photo. The GFL Memorial Gardens. Brad Coccimiglio/SooToday

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In the week that has passed since the Canadian Hockey League made the decision to pause the regular season schedules of its three member leagues – the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the Western Hockey League – due to COVID-19, plenty of discussion has been had.

With the situation seemingly changing by the hour, the OHL made the decision on Wednesday to cancel the remaining games on its regular season schedule because of the pandemic.

In a statement, OHL commissioner David Branch said the decision “is the proper course of action to take at this time.”

“We are continuing to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19,” Branch also said. “When it is safe and we may resume play, we will advise on the status of the 2020 OHL playoffs.”

In total, 56 regular season games were affected across the league.

The OHL also confirmed that the draft will take place as scheduled on April 4.

Across the CHL, the QMJHL announced the cancellation of the remainder of its regular season on Tuesday afternoon, becoming the first of the three CHL member leagues to do so.

The league made the announcement on Tuesday, leaving 41 regular season games unplayed because of COVID-19.

The potential of playoff games was not mentioned in the league release, which only made mention of the final standings being determined by points percentage because the 18 teams across the league have not played the same amount of games.

The QMJHL also announced on Wednesday morning that the league plans to go to an online draft this season as well.

The league draft, which is held in a similar fashion to its NHL counterpart, was scheduled for June 6 in Sherbrooke.

Similarly, the QMJHL has also cancelled other events, including its goaltenders development camp.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the WHL announced a similar decision to cancel the remaining games on the regular season schedule.

In a prepared statement, WHL commissioner Ron Robison said the league will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments with hopes of still playing playoff games.

“The WHL takes the safety of our players, officials, staff, fans, and everyone associated with the WHL very seriously. Given the ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19, we deemed it necessary to cancel the remaining games on the 2019-20 WHL regular season schedule,” Robison said.

“We will continue to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19. We will make every effort possible to conduct the 2020 WHL playoffs at a later date.”

In total, 54 games were affected by the decision.

The final standings were to be determined by points percentage among the 22 WHL teams

The CHL announced on March 12 that the schedules of the three leagues were being paused until further notice.