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

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read