The Western Hockey League this week announced the return to play has been delayed, clubs will not start playing January 8 as thought.

Last October, Commissioner Ron Robison had issued a release with a "firm" return of January 8, said it was not tentative.

But the league said due to public health restrictions in place across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, the league cannot meet that date.

In a statement this week, Robison said  that has been scrubbed:

“We continue to make every effort to get our season started, but our first priority has always been the health and safety of our players, and everyone associated with the WHL, Given the public health restrictions that are currently in effect, we are not in a position to determine a new target date for our season. We will continue to consult with health authorities to determine when it is safe and responsible to get our season started.”

The initial plan was to have the teams play division only games, the Tri City Americans would have initially only played their US Division foes Spokane, Everett, Portland and Seattle. If conditions allowed the league would expand that.

This idea came about because of the US-Canada border closure.  No new target date has been set for a resumption of the league.