NewsPG CougarsSports “We’re carrying on as normal,”: Cougars preparing for unprecedented WHL season SHARE ON: Brendan Pawliw, staff Thursday, Jun. 18th, 2020 (Photo supplied by Brett Cullen Photography and PG Cougars) What the upcoming WHL season will look, like remains up in the air as the league office tries to figure out a way to proceed. Under its Return to Play format, they are aiming for an October 2nd start date, which is contingent on approval from the provincial government and local health authorities. Commissioner, Ron Robison said via Zoom they fully expect to be flexible if the 68-game season is pushed back into November or December. “We believe there is a way to do that and accomplish it provided we can modify playoffs and also get the cooperation of the Canadian Hockey League to adjust the dates of the Memorial Cup. Everything is open for discussion right now.” Robison stated the schedule might look different compared to years past. “We might have a completely different looking schedule than what we traditionally have. More divisional play is something that is being considered but right now we have built it based on a full normal schedule from the Western Hockey League’s standpoint.” The league says it will not start unless fans are in the building with a minimum capacity of 50%. PG Cougars Vice of President Business, Andy Beesley told MyPGNow.com they are fully prepared for any scenario that plays out. “We don’t want any excuses and we don’t want to make any reasons why we aren’t going to have a great season so whether we are playing more BC teams or more western Canadian teams or all the teams as normal, we’re just saying bring it now, we’re prepared for it.” However, Beesley hinted some operational procedures may be altered due to the pandemic. “We’re going to carry on as normal and we’re going to make sure that everyone gets full value for their money and regardless of what happens, it’s so difficult to speculate but there could be building limits, social distancing inside the building, there could be a requirement to wear masks and there could be changes on how we do food and beverage along with entrance and exits.” In May, Cougars co-owner John Pateman stated they have made it a goal to get at least 1,500 more fans per game in order to break even. The Cougars averaged just over 24-hundred fans per game last season, a decline of 250 people per game during the previous year (2018-19). However, the WHL club may be hard-pressed to accomplish this with the current restrictions in place.