QMJHL announces cancellation of 2019-20 regular season

Status of league playoffs unclear, in addition to OHL and WHL campaigns, plus the Memorial Cup

In the first major announcement made by any league since the Canadian Hockey League suspended play last Thursday, as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced on Tuesday that they were cancelling all of their remaining regular season games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the cancellation of the 2019-20 campaign, which was slated to end on Saturday, the final standings were determined by point percentage.

The Sherbrooke Phoenix had the best mark of all 18 teams in the league with an .841 point percentage and a 51-8-3-1 mark.

Rimouski Oceanic forward Alexis Lafreniere, who is expected to be the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, led the league in scoring with 112 points in 52 games.

The league has yet to make a statement in regards to what the playoff format would be and when it would take place.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie Tweeted on Tuesday that the Western Hockey League was expected to follow the same path as the QMJHL, while the Ontario Hockey League had a governors’ conference call slated for Wednesday.

“Nothing carved in stone, of course, but once CHL regular seasons are officially cancelled and points percentage is used to determine official “final standings” the three junior leagues would be in position to hold their respective priority draft selections, perhaps as scheduled,” McKenzie said.

“As for the respective CHL playoffs, the odds of them taking place would appear to be a long shot at this point, but no firm decision is being taken by the CHL on playoffs just yet.

“The Memorial Cup is scheduled for May 22-31 in Kelowna, B.C., but the B.C. Provincial health authorities recently mandated no sporting events with more than 50 people can take place. That order is in effect until the end of May.”

The Prince Albert Raiders announced on Tuesday that their office and the team store would be closed to the public until further notice.

The Raiders staff can still be contacted via email at info@raiderhockey.com or telephone at (306) 764-5348 during office hours, which are 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.

The team has also cancelled their 2019-20 awards banquet, which was slated to be held next Monday night at the Ches Leach Lounge.

In other WHL news, the Winnipeg Ice posted a statement on their Twitter page Tuesday evening that two of their players had been tested for COVID-19 and that the tests came back with negative results.

“Both players are feeling well and are in the process of returning home to their families,” the team said.