The General Manager of the Grande Prairie JDA Kings says while the team is disappointed in the cancellation of the remainder of the NWJHL season, but admits it didn’t come as a total surprise.
General Manager Kyle Chapple says the decision to conclude all regular-season league play for the remainder of the 2020-21 season was made on February 8th, in conjunction with Hockey Alberta.
“The longer we went here, the more likely this was probably going to happen…we couldn’t really wait a whole lot longer,” he says
“It’s tough, but it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to touch the ice, have a practice or play a game…so I think it was expected by most people.”
Chapple says they last hit the ice as a team in October 2020, but as the pandemic rolled on, the waiting game rolled right along with it. He says it was a difficult five months for the organization.
“There were times where things were trending in the right direction, then case counts would go back up, restrictions got tighter over Christmas, and we were back to square one again,” he adds.
Chapple says, there is a faint possibility of the team getting together one last time on the ice, but, like the league season itself, it heavily depends on COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are holding out hope that this year we can finish off with possibly getting back on the ice, with maybe some certain restrictions in place so we can get some practice time in,” he says.
“That has been granted by Hockey Alberta, that we can still continue to wait and see if that’s a possibility to see if things go our way,”.