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Hockey fans everywhere are feeling the void that the premature ending to the season has left, due to health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was announced on March 23rd that the WHL would be cancelling the remainder of the games in the 2019-20 season, along with the 2020 WHL Playoffs.
For fans of local team the Victoria Royals, this meant a very abrupt stoppage to one of our city’s favourite pass times – attending games at the Barn on Blanshard and cheering on the boys in black and blue.
Along with the unprecedented shortened season, the team has three graduating players that will move on from the team and not return next year, including Will Warm, Gary Haden and goaltender Shane Farkas.
The Victoria Royals had only four games left in the regular season when the cancellation was announced, and had also clinched playoff berth at that time.
“Nothing is more important to the WHL than the health and safety of our players, officials, staff, and fans,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison..
“Without any ability to predict as to when it will be safe and responsible to return to play, the WHL has made the difficult decision to cancel the WHL Playoffs and the balance of the 2019-20 season.”
It was also announced that the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft will be conducted online on Wednesday, April 22nd.
The Victoria Royals organization including players, coaches, and promotional staff came together to make a heartfelt video thanking fans and expressing their excitement for next season – you can check it out below!
From all of us here at the Victoria Royals, we’d like to thank each and every one of our fans for making the past season as amazing as it could’ve been. We’ll see you next season! pic.twitter.com/vHLnT1m5ZL
— Victoria Royals (@victoriaroyals) March 30, 2020
The Royals encourage all ticket holders to continue to hold on to their tickets for the three cancelled home games. These tickets will be valid for the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season. All Royals ticket pack members will receive full details as part of their 2020-21 renewal package that will be sent out at a later date.