CALGARY -- The Western Hockey League (WHL) season will finish with the end of the regular season schedule, the league announced Monday.

Complications created by the pandemic, including border closures, were ultimately too much to continue the season, the league said.

“When we returned to play in February, we set out with the intention of completing a 24-game regular season schedule, knowing adjustments would be needed along the way,” said WHL commissioner Ron Robison. “We remained hopeful that public health conditions would improve, but unfortunately that is not the reality we see in front of us today. The ongoing challenges with non-essential interprovincial and international cross-border travel leave us no alternative but to cancel the 2021 WHL Playoffs."

The league will recognize individual award winners, and four division winners instead, including the RE/MAX Cup for the B.C. division champs and Subway Cup for the Eastern Division Champs.

Plans are underway, working in conjunction with provincial health authorities, to prepare for the 2021/22 season.