Casualties of COVID-19 in the hockey world continue to rack up.
Today, Hockey Canada announced the cancellation of all spring 2021 national championships, including the Esso Cup, Telus Cup, Centennial Cup, and Allan Cup.
"The ongoing pandemic, coupled with the fact that many regions in the country are not currently playing organized hockey, left us with no other option," state Hockey Canada officials.
"We believe the decision to cancel our spring 2021 national championships is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic at a local level, as well as the uncertainty around each region being able to compete for a national championship."
Earlier this week, Hockey Alberta announced regular league play has concluded for AA, AAA, and tiered league play for the season.
That includes Cochrane minor hockey teams competing in the South Central Hockey League, as well as AAA teams of the Airdrie-Cochrane Athletic Association, Airdrie Xtreme, AC Avalanche, and Airdrie CFR Bisons.
Hockey Alberta officials expressed disappointment in the Alberta government's four-step timeline that meant the earliest hockey could return is Mar. 1.
Its senior leadership team says it will continue to work with government and health officials to develop a relaunch plan that allows for hockey activities and keeps our youth active for their physical and mental well-being. It is exploring all options that could comprise a spring development season when Step 2 of the government's plan comes into effect.
As well, it will be working closely with organizations that have access to facilities and/or have players interested in playing to ensure that those who are interested in playing can have that opportunity when the sport is allowed back on the ice.
Junior B, C, and female and senior leagues have set Feb. 8 as their target for determining if continuing to plan league play is sustainable.