From staff and wire reports
The Spokane Chiefs can circle a date on the calendar for the start of the Western Hockey League regular season.
They might just need to splurge for next year’s calendar.
The WHL announced Wednesday that the league plans to open play Jan. 8, 2021.
Following the Christmas break, all WHL players will be reporting to their respective teams, where they will begin training in preparation for the season.
The WHL continues to work with each of the governments and health authorities in the provinces and states in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, respectively, on obtaining the necessary approvals to commence play. Details regarding the schedule of games in each of the four WHL divisions will be announced at a later date.
All regular-season games during the season will be played exclusively within the boundaries of each of the four divisions, with the East Division consisting of the seven Saskatchewan and Manitoba-based teams; the Central Division consisting of the five Alberta-based teams; the B.C. Division consisting of the five B.C.-based teams; and the U.S. Division consisting of Spokane, Tri-Cities, Everett, Seattle and Portland.
The WHL also announced it has appointed Dr. Dhiren Naidu of Edmonton, Alberta, as the WHL’s chief medical adviser. Naidu, an associate professor at the University of Alberta and head team physician for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and CFL’s Edmonton team, served as the NHL medical director for the NHL hub, which just concluded in Edmonton. Naidu will be assisting the WHL with the implementation of its comprehensive health and safety protocol, in consultation with provincial and state health authorities.
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