Memorial Cup

Matthew Wedman #20 of the Kelowna Rockets stick checks Phillip Schultz #27 of the Victoria Royals
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CHL cancels 2020 playoffs and Memorial Cup

The Canadian Hockey League announced on Monday evening that the 2020 playoffs and Memorial Cup has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The CHL released the following statement.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), in association with our three regional leagues the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), made the decision to pause our season and last week officially cancelled all remaining regular season games.

We have continued to monitor the latest updates and advice from all public health agencies and medical experts, and worked tirelessly to determine a scenario by which the balance of our season could be played. Unfortunately, given the troubling state of our global climate and public welfare, there is still too much risk and uncertainty to move forward in good conscience.

With that in mind, CHL President Dan MacKenzie and Commissioners David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison have made the difficult decision to cancel the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL playoffs, and along with the support of Kia Canada as the presenting sponsor, to cancel the 2020 Memorial Cup which was scheduled to be held in Kelowna, B.C., May 22-31, 2020.

The CHL, WHL, OHL, and QMJHL all take great pride in providing the best environment for our players both on and off the ice with health and safety for them, and all stakeholders of our game, at the forefront.

We look forward with hope that next season will provide new opportunity to celebrate, and that the Memorial Cup will be presented at our prestigious national championship, hosted by the OHL in May, 2021.

Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.

Kelowna Rockets fined $500 for complaining about officiating at Memorial Cup

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The Kelowna Rockets have been fined $500 after a member of the club approached the CHL hockey operations department to complain about the officiating following Friday night’s 4-3 loss to the Quebec Remparts in the Memorial Cup opener.

Kelowna was assessed 44 minutes in penalties including three 10-minute misconduct penalties in a game, which Rockets’ head coach Dan Lambert said wasn’t overly physical.

“I don’t remember being a part of a hockey game where there’s really not that much physicality going on yet there’s four 10s handed out,” Lambert told reporters on Saturday. “I don’t remember it. Maybe it’s something that goes on here more often. I don’t know. Lets hope it was a lesson for us and that we learned from it.”

Edmonton Oilers’ first rounder Leon Draisaitl was assessed a 10 minute misconduct at the end of the second period and missed the first half of the third. Winnipeg Jets’ prospect Josh Morrissey received a misconduct with 1:04 remaining in the third.

“Personally I think there’s other ways to send warnings. Certainly it should start with (minor penalties) and not hand out 10s like they’re hot cakes, but maybe that’s the way it is here,” said Lambert. “At the end of the day, we need to learn from it.

“I know if I was a fan, I’d like to see Leon Draistl and the (Marc-Olivier Roy) kid that got it and so on and so forth. I don’t see Sidney Crosby getting 10s like that at the NHL level when he gets upset and chirps somebody.”

Center Dillon Dube was the other Rockets’ player to receive a 10-minute misconduct. Roy, an Oilers prospect, was the only member of the Quebec Remparts to receive a misconduct.

Mike Richards and Peter DeBoer share championship history

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There are a lot of potential story lines in this year’s Stanley Cup finals, some of which we took a look at yesterday, but there’s one that’s got a history of success tied to it.

Kings forward Mike Richards and Devils coach Peter DeBoer have a championship link that dates back to when DeBoer was Richards’ coach in junior hockey. In 2004, DeBoer coached the Kitchener Rangers to the Memorial Cup with Richards as his top scoring forward.

Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider hears from Richards about what it was like playing for DeBoer and now having to beat him for hockey’s ultimate prize seven years after parting ways.

“It’s hard to believe it’s already been seven years (since his junior career ended). He’s getting old. I’m getting old, but he’s getting really old,” Richards says laughing.

“He had a big part in my career, getting me through the four years and teaching me a lot, and obviously won with it too, not only at the Memorial Cup but he was there in World Juniors as an assistant coach. It was a pretty unique situation, but I obviously hope that we have success.”

Obviously, duh.

Teacher vs. pupil makes for a good story to follow. Hey it worked in Star Wars, right?