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Canada Border Closure Effecting WHL Start

For months, people kept talking about how the United States and Canada border closure was not going to matter to Major Junior teams.

All kinds of people were saying “the Americans will be allowed in, the Europeans will be allowed in”. “Its our game” they said. “No one is going to tell the major junior leagues they cant play without foreign players” they said.

Over here at TJHN, we have consistently said exactly the opposite.

Today, publicly the WHL is saying exactly what we have been saying all along.

In an interview with the local Press, General Manager of the Regina Pats, John Paddock made the situation on non Canadian players very clear.

Given government border restrictions, the entire roster will not be permitted to return to play. After negotiating with the federal government since September, junior players from Europe are not allowed to play this season. 

Some players from the United States have been granted student visas. Others have dual citizenship that will allow them to participate, while others will not be permitted to play in Canada. 

Clear enough?

Great. Now that its clear in February what we were saying almost a year ago, maybe some other news will become clear.

The 2021-2022 off season will be very similar to the past off season as it regards recruiting, camps, and signing players in Canada.

Recent projections are saying most of Canada can not be vaccinated before September of this year. Given that Canada, like many other countries is already behind in their vaccine roll out, you can expect that to be extended a few months.

While COVID vaccine passports are prepared, and testing at the borders is slowly being prepared, you can count on the border remaining closed. Which means if you’re an American hopping to play in Canada, you are likely going to be sitting at home waiting again.

IF the WHL isn’t getting their American’s into Canada, what makes you think a Tier II league will be?

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser


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