Vancouver, BC- They were out, but now they’re back- the University of Alberta hockey programs will be eligible to compete in the coming U SPORTS hockey season, if there is one.
Canada West’s Board of Directors met Thursday to discuss Alberta’s request to be reinstated, after the school had initially pulled out of the hockey season on June 17. While the hockey team will be returning in 2020-21, a request was not made to reinstate the basketball and volleyball programs which were also suspended in June.
The special meeting was required to reverse Alberta’s decision, as the original deadline to confirm participation passed on June 30.
In the media release, Canada West President Clint Hamilton said, “Our Canada West Board understands that we are not dealing with business as usual, and that flexibility is required to ensure we do everything possible to allow our members to navigate these uncertain times. If it’s determined that a Canada West hockey schedule is possible for this season, we are pleased that the University of Alberta’s Golden Bears and Pandas programs will take part.”
While introducing a new team in a normal year so late would be impossible, the board approved the request as the scheduling for the possible January start has not progressed past a point of reasonable adjustment.
The Canada West hockey seasons will not start before Jan.1, and the final decision to play or not will be made no later than Oct. 8.
49 Sports previously reported that there was a potential of an independent hockey season, and the University of Alberta was hoping to kickstart it with hockey. Multiple sources told 49 Sports that the Golden Bears/Pandas were aiming to attract other Alberta/Edmonton schools to compete in the independent exhibition competition.
Cover Photo: University of Alberta