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OHL season and playoffs cancelled

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has announced the regular season has come to an end, and playoffs have been cancelled after pausing the season to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

OHL commissioner David Branch made the announcement that the remainder of the 2019-20 season will be cancelled following a meeting with the board of governors, as well as consultation with medical professionals.

“In the interest of the safety of our players, officials, staff, fans and the general public, it’s been agreed that the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season is the proper course of action to take at this time,” said Branch in a press release.

He then made another announcement stating there will be no playoffs this year, and following consultation with the CHL’s Board of Directors, and the OHL’s Board of Governors, extreme precautions needed to be taken.

With the cancellation of the playoffs, Branch expressed his dismay at how difficult of a decision it was, but also noted the safety of the players, fans, staff and others is more important.

“The environment that we currently find ourselves in is much more important than the game of hockey, and we all have a part to play in getting through these difficult times together,” said Branch. “At the appropriate time, when it is safe to do so, our players look forward to returning to the ice in our passionate hockey communities to assist in the overall healing process.”

With the season now end at an end, the Oshawa Generals finished with a record of 31-20-6-5, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference.

With the current standings, if the playoffs were to have taken place, the Generals would have taken on the Barrie Colts in the first round.

Oshawa’s general manager Roger Hunt thinks ending the season is the right thing to do not only for the players, but for the fans, team staff, and employees of the venues as well.

“It stings that we’re not playing hockey at this time of year,” Hunt told The Oshawa Express.

Hunt pointed out recently COVID-19 isn’t a hockey problem, but it’s a world problem, and he maintains that stance.

“It’s obviously a global issue, and we’re dealing with the same things they are in Europe and Asia,” said Hunt. “It’s not a hockey thing, or a sports thing, or an Oshawa thing, or an Ontario thing, it’s a worldwide situation.”

With the cancellation of the playoffs, the 2020 Memorial Cup, which was to be played in Kelowna, BC, will no longer be played. Next year is the OHL’s turn to host, and the Generals are in the mix.

For more information regarding the cancellation, or tickets, visit oshawagenerals.com.

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