Premier disappointed NHL playoffs won’t be coming to Vancouver, ‘but we will not bend the rules’

PREMIER John Horgan on Thursday tweeted: “I’m disappointed the NHL playoffs won’t be coming to Vancouver, but we will not bend the rules on public health guidelines and risk the progress we’ve made. Protecting the health and safety of people in BC is our number one priority.”

The Canucks said in a statement: “On behalf of everyone at Canucks Sports and Entertainment, we sincerely thank Premier Horgan, Minister [Lisa] Beare, [Provincial Health Officer] Dr. Bonnie Henry and their teams for their incredible support as we worked through the opportunity to host NHL teams in Vancouver.”

Trent Carroll, CSE COO, said: “It has been a collaborative effort from the beginning with the NHL and all parties involved throughout the entire process,” said “From the beginning, our goal was to help the NHL get hockey back on the ice if we could. Although Vancouver won’t be a Hub City, we are still excited to see hockey start up again. Now we look forward and are excited to welcome our Canucks players back for training camp at Rogers Arena in the coming weeks. An exciting finish to the season is just around the corner, and we can’t wait to drop the puck.”

Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, responsible for Sport, in a statement said: “The opportunity to host the NHL playoffs is an exciting event for any community.

“While I am disappointed that Vancouver was not chosen as a NHL playoffs hub city, it was an honour to be considered.

“I want to thank the Vancouver Canucks for leading the bid efforts to bring the NHL playoffs to Vancouver. Our government was proud to support the bid, and we appreciate the hard work and enthusiasm that went into the process.

“Our government has been clear that our priority is the health and safety of British Columbians. Our hard work in flattening the curve against COVID-19 is what made Vancouver a strong candidate. We are proud of the progress B.C. has made, and we have been clear that we will not bend our rules and risk this progress.

“British Columbia has a record of success hosting high-profile sport events, including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship and World Rugby Sevens series. Being a potential host has helped highlight the province as a world-class sports destination, and I look forward to future opportunities to bring professional sporting events to our province.

“Sport brings communities together, and I am proud of our government’s continuing work to support all levels of sport to return to play and work toward our ‘new normal.’ Our collective efforts made B.C. a strong contender, and we will continue to consider all opportunities to showcase sport in B.C.

“Go, Canucks!”