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WHL pushes back season start date to December

We won't see Spokane Chiefs hockey in Spokane Arena for awhile.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The WHL announced on Thursday that their season start date has been delayed until Dec. 4. The league did say they are committed to still playing a 68 game season this coming year, followed by four rounds of playoffs.

In 2019, the Spokane Chiefs began their season on Sept. 20, and had preseason games beginning on Aug. 30. The Chiefs began camp last year on Aug. 22. A few months ago, the WHL said they planned on starting their season in October.

“Regardless of our start date, the WHL is committed to playing a full Regular Season and Playoffs in 2020-21,” stated WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “In our discussions with the government and health authorities, it has become apparent that additional time is required to ensure we can return to play in a safe and responsible manner. Our WHL health and safety protocols have been well received by the health authorities but we have several key issues that we will need to reach a resolution on in the coming months.”

Like many other sports, the Spokane Chiefs season came to an abrupt end last year due to COVID-19. They were on tear prior to their season shutting down, winning ten straight games.

The league stated that the start of their season remains contingent on getting approvals from the six states/provinces the league operates in.