Quarantine requirements for people from 31 States and the District of Columbia in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Restrictions on the number of people allowed in ice arenas, bars, restaurants, gyms, and indoor spaces in nearly every State in the United States.
Social distancing requirements in these same indoor spaces in nearly every State in the United States.
The idea that Junior Hockey being played in front of fans in the United States any time soon is simply wishful thinking. It is not going to happen, and if it does, someone will get sick and it will get shut down again.
I am betting against the USHL and NAHL playing regular season games in October.
Yes, I know. Both leagues “intend” on playing a full season. And I intend on winning Powerball next week even though I have never bought a ticket.
The USHL will not be playing in Michigan until the Governor says so. Given the spiking numbers surrounding the communities in Muskegon, that’s not going to be any time soon.
Given all the mask orders and other social distancing restrictions in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa, its not likely hockey with fans will be played there any time soon.
The NAHL with its massive footprint simply isn’t going to be able to play in September, and not likely in October.
Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and probably more all have restrictions on indoor seating.
If Major League Baseball is being played in New York without fans, and the rest of the country with no fans, does anyone really think Junior Hockey will receive special treatment and be allowed to have fans inside of a building?
If the NFL, America’s largest revenue generating sport is not having pre season games, and likely wont have fans or have limited fans in outdoor environments, does anyone really think Junior Hockey will receive special treatment?
There is only one way Junior Hockey will be played in the majority of the United States before December.
Without fans in the building. That’s it. That’s my prediction.
Only teams with no fans will for sure play in October. That means Tier 3 and the NCDC.
Even then, those leagues will likely have problems because of limits to the numbers of people inside of buildings being limited. This means small staff’s and limited rosters in order to play.
Showcase events? They wont happen until December at the soonest.
Import players? A few Canadians will play if they fly to the USA, but most Canadians don’t want to set foot in the United States. Many Canadians will simply play at home or go to Europe.
Europeans wont be coming over to play. It’s not happening.
Yes, I know, more doom and gloom from me. Say it all you want. I have been the only person publicly saying what the leagues have been saying in private and have known for months.
There is a reason not one league in the United States has published or publicly stated what their COVID-19 plan is.
Not one league has announced testing protocols.
Not one league has announced their “Return to Play Plan”. A statement saying they “intend to play” or anything like that is not a plan, it is a stall tactic designed to keep players in tryout camps.
Soon, the real news will be coming out. Because leagues are out of time. Stall tactics are no longer needed because most camps are over.
I am not saying the stall tactics were bad. They were smart business moves really. Now though, it is time for all players to learn that Junior Hockey at the Tier I and II levels are big business.
They require fans, advertising and camp revenues to move forward. Camps revenues are in, and until tickets can be sold, and advertising can be sold, teams will not play.
Look for leagues to start making these delay announcements pretty soon. They have the Governors of each State to place blame on. The Governors in turn have every citizen who cant wear a mask or social distance to blame.
Those who will complain the loudest now are those who likely complained about wearing a mask or social distancing to begin with. More “rights” being taken away.
All because America couldn’t get it together and make one cohesive plan for the nation. A plan that would have seen the country be almost back to normal by now.
Now, everyone can plan on sitting at home for a while.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser