The Associated Press NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, center, joins Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, left, and Tod Leiweke, right, president and CEO of the Seattle Hockey Partners group, during a news conference in Seattle.

B.C. Premier Horgan reaches out to NHL to offer place to play if hockey returns

Under one rumoured proposal, fans wouldn’t be allowed in arenas and teams would be sequestered in hotels

B.C. Premier John Horgan says he has reached out and offered the NHL a place to play games if the league can find a way to resume its suspended season.

Speaking at a COVID-19 media briefing Wednesday, Horgan said that he has written a letter to both NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the head of the NHL Players’ Association, Donald Fehr, to let them know that B.C. is ”a place to potentially restart the NHL assuming the games would be played without audiences, but instead played for television.”

The NHL, which was forced to pause its schedule March 12 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, has been looking at plans to centralize groups of teams in low-risk centres in hopes of resuming the 2019-20 campaign this summer.

Under one rumoured proposal, fans wouldn’t be allowed in arenas and teams would be sequestered in hotels. There were 189 games left in the regular season when the NHL halted play.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C’s provincial health officer, was asked Monday about Vancouver hosting NHL games with no fans and said: ”these are the types of things that we need to think about.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Tuesday that the Maple Leafs’ parent company, MLSE, has been in contact with the province about the possibility of Toronto serving as a so-called “hockey pod” for teams as well should the NHL resume its season.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Bettman spoke last month about Edmonton as another potential hub city.

As of early April, eight NHLers were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19, including five members of the Ottawa Senators. All have since recovered.

The league and NHLPA have formed a joint committee to determine a path forward that could get games back on the ice sometime in July.

Bettman recently noted that government and medical officials will ultimately make the call on when sports can return.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A stand in solidarity against racism and discrimination

A diverse crowd led by youth marched from Cranbrook’s Spirit Square in… Continue reading

Letters to the Editor

Performing Arts Festival postponed; Wildfire protection; Understanding in the world today

Local photographer raises over $5,000 for Cranbrook Food Bank

Damien Vincent raised the money through his version of the Front Porch Family Photo project

PHOTOS: Momma black bear and cubs spotted in Townsite

A momma black bear and her two cubs, spotted getting near The… Continue reading

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read