For the second consecutive year, the Canadian Hockey League has canceled the Memorial Cup due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The CHL is committed to the health and safety of our players, their families and billets, our teams, staff and officials, and the communities in which we play. That has driven all of our difficult decisions for the last year as we have dealt with this global pandemic," CHL president Dan MacKenzie said in the official statement. "The decision was made based on the limitations on travel, border restrictions, and quarantining requirements that would make it impossible to produce league champions."
The location and timing for next year's Memorial Cup will be announced at a later date.
As noted by the Canadian Press (h/t TSN), the Memorial Cup is a major junior hockey championship that features the winners of the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The CHL offered an additional statement via Twitter:
Statement from the CHL / Déclaration de la LCH pic.twitter.com/1zlAIYj5j2— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) April 13, 2021
NHL prospects routinely compete in the Memorial Cup, but a new coronavirus wave is hitting regions throughout Canada particularly hard this spring. The Vancouver Canucks are set to go over three full weeks without playing a single game due to a COVID-19 outbreak that included at least 25 individuals associated with the team testing positive for the virus. Additionally, the border that separates the United States and Canada remains closed to non-essential travel for the foreseeable future.