Bill Chow, Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has been the most forthcoming Commissioner in the CJHL concerning the upcoming season, and his thoughts on how it will or could take place.
In a CBC interview, Chow said the following when asked about American players;
He said the league might have to go without American players at first.
“Until that border opens, I don’t think there’s going to be exceptions to the rules when it comes to that,” he said.
He said SJHL teams are allowed six American players on their rosters, but the average is about three or four per team.
“I don’t believe we’d be holding up a season for 42 players, if that was the case,” he said.
He said that, as of Monday, the SJHL has had two discussions with government representatives about a return to play over the last three weeks.
“I don’t want to say they’re preliminary but I don’t want to say they’re done, either,” he said. “It would look like we could be starting near the end of September.”
With the US/Canada border closure expected to be extended again in less than three weeks, once again, players and parents need to be looking at alternatives to playing in Canada.
The Manitoba Junior Hockey League has released its “Return To Play” plan in a fifteen page document. The entire plan can be found here.
The MJHL has set a target date of Friday, Sept. 25 for the start of the 2020-21 regular season and says it will be revealing plans for its Phase 2 guidelines in the coming days.
Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta are the three Provinces in Canada that have been least effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These Provinces are the most likely to start their season close to the traditional September start dates. Most likely all three will be playing by October.
For those players who do not have a backup plan, now more than ever it is vital to secure a non traditional option for next season. Failing to do so will likely see you sitting at home while others are on the ice.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser