The start of the 2021-2022 season is already beginning to look a lot like the start of the 2020-2021 season in Canada when there was no season in Canada.
Multiple teams have pushed back main camp dates, and multiple teams can not find billet families for their players. These two things combined with quickly rising COVID infection numbers in Canada do not bode well for anyone.
Games in early September in some cases have already been cancelled. Yes. Games are already quietly being cancelled or set for rescheduling at a later date. “Scheduling conflicts” is the key phrase being used.
How can you have a scheduling conflict for a schedule that was just released a month or so ago? You cant, and its only a smoke screen for what is really going on.
When games disappear from league schedules with no announcement, you have trouble on the horizon.
Nearly every team in every league in Canada is publicly asking for help finding billet families because families do not want to take the risk of housing players during COVID. Too man requirements, and too much stress to deal with are reasons billet families are now harder to find than ever before.
Recent public statements from Canadian Health authorities regarding COVID, the rising numbers, the projected numbers for September and October, and a return to restrictions does not give confidence to many teams that a full season will be had once again.
Confidentially, some coaches have begun to look for work in Europe, and some players have begun to create backup plans in the United States and Europe.
In late August and early September Canadian authorities are already cautioning the public about infection numbers potentially doubling those at the peak of the last wave of COVID. When during the last wave of COVID the country locked down, what do we think will happen if numbers double?
But hey, don’t believe me. Since most of you don’t want to do the research and will choose to believe the same old line that “it will be alright”. Here is the unbiased Canadian news for you:
Yes I know. I am creating fear. Yes. Just like I created fear last year when seasons went to hell after everyone was saying to just be patient and it will be alright.
Now, the Canadian leagues have done a great job of organizing and planning. Really, a lot of work from a lot of good people has been done. This is not a knock on any of them, and it is not saying they are not going to try because they will try.
As we saw in the past though, the health authorities in Canada are in charge. Not the leagues or the teams. Anyone thinking authorities will change the game plan that was already used successfully in Canada to keep numbers down in previous pandemic waves is not thinking straight.
Governments never completely change strategy. The may alter it slightly, but they never completely change. So, while some games are being played now, I suggest you enjoy them. If the predictions and numbers are accurate, the next COVID wave in Canada will likely put another shut down in place. That is the real “scheduling conflict”.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser