The Western Hockey League (WHL) is targeting Oct. 2 as a potential starting date for its 2020-21 season.

At its June 17 annual general meeting, league officials discussed its return to play protocol. The league says government and health officials in each of the six jurisdictions in the WHL territory are in the process of releasing further directives on their re-opening plans.

The proposed return date remains contingent on receiving the necessary approvals from government and health authorities in each of the league's six jurisdictions.  The league says it fully intends to complete a full 68-game schedule for the regular season regardless of when the season begins.

It's also working with health officials on the level of spectator capacity that will be permitted in each WHL club's arena facility. 

It's a spectator-driven league, and fans in the stands are vital to its successful return.

Early in the pandemic, there had been speculation that junior hockey might not return for the 2020-21 season because it is so heavily reliant on fans in the arenas for its success.

There were four Cochrane players in the league last season:  Damon Agyeman, Medicine Hat Tigers; Tyrel Bauer, Seattle Thunderbirds; Connor Bouchard, Tri-City Americans; and Caleb Williams. Tigers.