Time to dust off that Canucks jersey, as it appears the NHL will return to BC this year.
In a tweet on Sunday, Premier John Horgan announced that the province has given the green light for National Hockey League games to be played in the province during the upcoming 2021 season.
According to the post on social media, Horgan spoke with Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini on Saturday about the plan and reiterated that “enhanced health measures” will be put in place.
After speaking with @fr_aquilini yesterday about the NHL’s return-to-play plan, I’m pleased to confirm the enhanced health measures being put in place for the upcoming season mean games can safely be played here in BC.
Lets go @Canucks!
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) January 3, 2021
B.C. has joined Alberta in being the only two provinces to officially approve NHL games in their respective provinces.
According to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, health officials from the five Canadian provinces with NHL hockey teams have been consulting with league officials; but the decision to host NHL games was ultimately up to each province.
Though the Canucks’ first home game is slotted for January 20th versus the Montreal Canadiens, whether or not fans would be allowed to attend games played in B.C. is still unclear.
With the NHL’s newly announced COVID-19 protocol, each team will be issued a compliance officer who will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing all safety measures; this includes daily symptom screening as well as temperature checks for players.
Along with this, coaches will be required to wear masks during games, and players and personnel will be tested regularly. They will also be required to stay within their ‘bubbles’ within hotels when on road trips.
— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) January 3, 2021