The Quebec Major Junior League resumed practices this week across the league. Though reduced in size only allowing for 34 players to attend camp, news reports out of local agencies have been positive.
One thing not reported though, is that American players, even those with multiple years of service in the QMJHL, are being denied entry into Canada.
Yesterday I received yet another email from a parent of a player, a three year QMJHL veteran player, based in the United States. That player has not been allowed to cross into Canada due to the border closure.
While many have argued that players are getting across the border and quarantining, there has yet to be announced any transfer to reflect that actually taking place.
More than 16,500 U.S. citizens and foreign nationals have been turned away at the Canada-U.S. border since March because they wanted to visit for non-essential reasons.
While Canada Border Services Agency does not provide statistics for specific crossings citing security reasons, more than 15,200 of the people turned away were at land, rail and marine crossings.
The rest were refused entry after arriving at Canadian airports since COVID-19 border restrictions were introduced March 21.
While it is entirely possible teams have found loopholes to get players into Canada, there is one big thing that they can not avoid.
Try explaining to the Canadian Federal Government how you circumvented the Federal Orders on border closure. Try doing that without facing some serious consequences.
Then try explaining how you did that to Provincial Authorities who have their own rules regarding any American Citizens within their province.
Considering the massive fines being handed out to Americans who simply stay too long in Canada on their way to Alaska, you might have a lot of people questioning any American players on any Canadian rosters.
Don’t misunderstand me.
I think Canada will have a much better return to play than the United States will across the board. Their population is much smaller and their infection rates are much lower. I think they have done an excellent job at protecting everyone in Canada.
That said, who is going to be the first to announce American players on their rosters? Lets wait until that happens before we believe its actually going to happen.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser