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

Port Hardy arena waiting for almost three million in grant funds needed for maintenance

The funds will be going towards upgrades to the arena and the lobby entrance.

Seniors housing in Port Hardy moves ahead with rezoning application

North Island seniors able to “age in place” in new facility, currently getting funding and permits

Port McNeill curling club will be getting a brand new paint job, thanks to residents

‘The generosity of this community never ceases to amaze me!’

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

VIDEO: A young Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read