The CHL, which is the governing body of Canada’s Major Junior leagues (the QMJHL, the OHL, and the WHL), has officially decided that each league’s playoffs have been officially cancelled, per the leagues themselves:
The #QMJHL today announces the cancellation of the 2020 President Cup Playoffs.— QMJHL (@QMJHL) March 23, 2020
We would to thank all of our players, our fans as well as our hockey and administrative staffs, sponsors and officials for the 2019–2020 season.
The #CHL and regional leagues have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Playoffs and @CHLMemorialCup.— CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) March 23, 2020
We look forward with hope that next season will provide new opportunity to celebrate and that the #MemorialCup may be presented.
FULL : https://t.co/Jq67zZGpDv pic.twitter.com/K1VfeLdzN1
Without the three teams plus host city’s team to conduct the round robin tournament, this means that the Memorial Cup, Junior hockey’s most prestigious trophy, is officially joining the 1918 Stanley Cup finals in the “did not play” category.
It is terribly unfortunate that the season had to end as it did thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s also absolutely wild to think about just what the Memorial Cup has gone through in order to be played for, and also the things that didn’t stop it from being awarded. Which include:
- An actual World War, which is what it was specifically designed to be played in Memorial of.
- An actual, second, World War.
- Major Junior changing formats about three or four separate times.
- The introduction of the host team.
- The relocation and renaming of dozens, and I mean dozens of teams.
- The trophy snapping apart like a cheap plastic toy in 2008.
Here’s who would be the winners of each league based on points, if they were going to “Premiere League” this:
QMJHL: Sherbrooke Phoenix, with 106 points and a record of 51-8-3. Their leading goalscorer was Alex-Olivier Voyer, with 44 in 63 games.
OHL: Ottawa 67’s on a bit of a dream run, finishing their season with 50-11-0 and 101 points. Their leading goalscorer was Winger Jack Quinn, who had 52 in 62 games.
WHL: The Portland Winterhawks, who finish their season with a record of 45-11-3, good for 97 points. Their leading goalscorer was Seth Jarvis, who netted 42 goals in 58 games.
The Host City for the Memorial Cup this year was Kelowna, BC, who’s team is the Rockets. The Rockets would’ve been a wild-card playoff team, with a record of 29-28-3, good for 64 points.
The people I feel most for are the arena staff who were probably banking on having something to do for the forseeable future that didn’t involve concerts or the like, and the CHL overagers and seniors who should be on their way to pro hockey of some form or another, who had one last chance to chase this trophy...only to have it snuffed out like a candle. They’ll chase new dreams, but the dream of this cup that so many aspire to...it’s heartbreaking to think about.
As for who’s next?...It’s hard to say.
To all the teams who played their hearts out, we wish you the best, and a better luck in the upcoming season.