Little by little news gets out. More than ninety days into the restrictions placed on nations around the world, people are beginning to talk about what is next.
Junior Hockey, long the safe haven of secrecy is being pressed to be more forthcoming because of the pandemic. Those leagues that are doing so, are gaining the trust and patience of fans and players. Those that are not are seen as being secretive and untrustworthy.
In an interview with the Peterborough Examiner, Dr. Bob Neville who sits on the OHL’s executive council and is the Peterborough Petes’ representative on the league’s board of governors, says the Premier and Ontario’s medical officer of health will dictate the OHL’s return to play timelines.
The key statement made in this interview regarding the next OHL season was;
“I’m guardedly optimistic we’ll have a season but I’m not nearly as optimistic it will start on the typical, normal time the season would begin”
With other news coming out of Ontario, and the Province of Ontario being one of the hardest hit by the Coronavirus in Canada, it is pretty safe to see Neville is slowly leaking that the OHL doesn’t expect to start on time.
If the OHL doesn’t start on time, the other Junior A or Tier II leagues will also be unlikely to start on time. They typically follow the OHL lead and receive players from the OHL to supply many roster spots. The Tier II teams wont have access to enough players to fill those spots locally.
Another interesting interesting topic for the OHL is the three United states based teams and how they would be able to play? What about European players?
“What happens when a player or players from a team test positive for COVID?” he said. “If you test positive you and your wife and family will be isolated for 14 days. If that continues then I’d think there is a good chance your team, who are practising with you every day and going on bus trips with you could also be sidelined for two weeks which means the cancellation of games,”
Read into these comments what you will. Clearly though Dr. Neville has a pretty good grasp on where the virus stands, and he is absolutely privy to insider information concerning the OHL given his position within the organization.
As always we will continue to update you as information comes in.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser