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Its About To Get Real – Teams Going Dark

Back in March, when the pandemic hit, I wrote a series of articles about what I predicted would happen because of COVID-19. It wasn’t even called COVID-19 then but Coronavirus.

From border closures, to equipment shortages, and teams going dark. I tried my best to get people to understand that this pandemic was not going to be like a bad case of the flu.

I based a lot of my predictions on what medical experts were telling me in real conversations, as well as what hockey people were being told by their experts. I didn’t base it on politics.

We have had several teams go dark already this summer. The WSHL took the bold step and punted the season before anyone else wanted to even talk about it.

Now, as my granddaughter says, its about to get real.

Over the next 8 weeks, leagues and teams across the United States will begin to start, or try to start play. Some in the next two or three weeks will begin playing games, for others it will still be two more months. Yet others are going to pull the plug on the season last minute.

In Canada multiple teams are getting ready to sit out the season as well. Junior B has had their rosters decimated by Junior A teams looking to fill roster spots normally taken up by American players.

So here is my next set of predictions.

Teams will start and teams will stop play. Seasons will be interrupted, and some will be canceled completely. And it wont take long for it to happen.

With limited finances and protocols in place, it will take just one player in a weekend series to get infected, and infect other players, to shut down entire teams and potentially leagues.

Some teams will get shut down by local and State authorities for playing games when regulations forbid it.

Some teams will try to get around State quarantine rules and will get caught. What happens then is anyone’s guess.

Some teams that start will be forced to stop because other teams in their division are forced to stop by State or local authorities. Whether its just regulations or because of actual infections.

Unlike some, I simply do not have faith in how things have been, or will continue to be handled in the United States.

I do not believe that any junior league has more information and is making better decisions than the NHL or NCAA programs for their players.

The idea that any league has better information, or a better plan than the NHL, who wont start again until December, is simply not believable.

But hey, its America. We have our rights.

I hope I am wrong. I hope everything goes according to plan and no one gets sick or dies. I hope no one has to wake up one morning to that news and then look in the mirror with the knowledge they made the decision to move forward knowing people were at risk.

As we look ahead in September, I wish all of you luck this year.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

[email protected]

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