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Return to hockey a waiting game for junior leagues

October 9, 2020   ·   0 Comments

At this point in the year, junior hockey teams would normally already have several games in, with some teams taking a lead in the standings.

Currently, there is a big standstill as hockey organizations are waiting to find out exactly how they can proceed with a season.

There is little if any new information coming from either governing bodies or leagues with an expected start date for the season.

The fact that the province is currently going through a “second wave” means earlier plans have now been put on hold as they wait to find out about new restrictions in the province. Restrictions could include limiting the number of people in the building, including players and spectators.

Current regulations mean having two teams in the arena will already fill the maximum number allowed in an indoor setting. That would mean no spectators allowed.

Some leagues have already decided to pull the plug on the season.

The Western Ontario Athletic Association which hosts the Men’s Senior League has cancelled its entire season.

Citing lack of support from spectators, travel time, and the cost of running a team, the Association said it was not feasible to have a season this year.

The senior leagues have many former junior level players who want to continue playing competitive hockey.

The Shelburne Senior Muskies play in the league and have had many local ex-junior players on their team over the years.

The Provincial Junior Hockey League was expecting a December 1, start. However, that was a tentative date.

There is no schedule currently in place and the League has not announced any changes or updates.

The Alliston Hornets already have their team together – mostly returning players from last year.

Coaching staff have said they are ready to go any time the League puts together a schedule and gets games underway.

It seems everything will be at a standstill for a least a few weeks as figures come out about the second wave while awaiting directives from both the provincial government and local health authorities.

By Brian Lockhart

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