With the Province of Ontario entering a complete 28 day lockdown on December 26th, the Ontario Hockey League February 4th start date is simply not going to happen now.
As the COVID pandemic continues to run its course, it continues to decimate hockey seasons around the world.
While the OHL had planned for a condensed season beginning February 4th preceded by a condensed training camp, a 28 day lockdown makes this impossible.
The earliest possible start for training camps is now January 23rd, and that is simply not realistic considering none of the OHL’s three major barriers, the U.S. border, arena attendance and close to normal playing rules, have been resolved.
With the U.S. border not likely to open until late 2021, three of the OHL’s teams could not participate in a shortened season.
With no attendance possible and no checking, the OHL season is closer to not happening than it is to happening.
Now, the idea of any Junior Hockey in Ontario prior to a late 2021 start becomes a very long shot. A month long interruption mid season, will take ate least a week or two to restart if they are allowed to restart.
While Canada has done so much to contain the virus, and they have done such a good job doing so, hockey simply is not a priority any more for the government. In the end, they know, hockey will survive, it always has and always will.
This time though, the teams that do not survive will likely not be replaced for a very long time.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser