To play or not to play….that is the question!

The WHL had hoped to open its 2020-21 regular season on Oct. 2., but that was later changed to Dec. 4.

Now the target date is Friday, Jan. 8 but there appears to be a difference.

Although COVID 19 could rear its ugly head again, the league Board of Governors has announced that they are planning to play a modified season with or without spectators.

“We are formally committing to a having a season, albeit we are not sure exactly what it is going to look like right now,” said Prince George Cougars Vice President of Business Andy Beesley.

“The cost to putting on a season is remarkable and the fact the Governors are saying to make sure this is going to happen, one way or another, with or without fans is a remarkable achievement and a really quite a big milestone for us,” added Beesley.

There are still many more questions than answers.

The Cougars will only play games against the other four teams in the BC Division (Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria).

Details regarding the schedule of games in each of the four WHL Divisions will be announced later, but Beesley has a ballpark figure.

“As a baseline, I would expect to have 30-plus games, probably 34 games is a very minimum amount, maybe up to 50, but those details are yet to be determined.”

If the Cougars are allowed to have fans at CN Centre, then Prince George is hopeful to have a good chunk of its games on home ice, however, Beesley says “If there are no fans allowed, it is less important perhaps where we play.”

Keeping costs down will be a priority.

With a reduced schedule, it is likely games will only be played on weekends.

WHL Commissioner Ron Robison addressed the media via zoom on Thursday, answering questions on numerous topics.

According to a league news release, a final determination has not yet been made as to whether spectators will be permitted to attend WHL games as this will be subject to the approval of the Health Authorities in each jurisdiction.

All players will be reporting to their respective WHL Clubs following the Christmas break where they will begin training in preparation for the opening of the regular season.

So when should we expect our next update?

“By the end of November, we are going to have to have some solid answers in terms of our schedule,” said Beesley.

Sometimes one has to do the best it can with the hand it is dealt with.

This continues to be the case for the PG Cougars as a team and the WHL as a league.

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Bad news for the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos – due to positive COVID-19 cases, their Sunday game was postponed. Worse news for the 0-5 Atlanta Falcons, their Sunday game wasn’t.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

By being unable to count to four, Tom Brady has joined yet another exclusive club. Remember, ‘Hollywood’ Henderson once said that Terry Bradshaw was so dumb that he couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c’ and the ‘a’.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek took part in this year’s NHL draft, announcing, “With the third pick in the 2020 NHL draft, the Ottawa Senators choose this player. … Who is Tim Stützle?” Sens fans just hope they’re not asking that same question five years from now.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

The Dodgers scored a record 11 in the first inning against the Braves. The last time so many runs came so quickly, a porcupine got into a hosiery factory.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to [email protected]