Photo Courtesy of the New Jersey Devils Twitter
Although it is a new year we are still faced with the same challenges due to the pandemic. Hopefully, these challenges begin to disappear soon with COVID-19 vaccinations becoming more readily available. Unfortunately, until this happens the QMJHL will still be faced with hurdles to jump over to complete this season.
Both the WHL and the OHL have recently announced the delaying of their previously projected season’s start date due to province-wide shutdowns announced in Ontario and other regional restrictions. It is tough to see how many players are being affected by these restrictions and shutdowns heading into their draft-eligible year and how it will affect their future careers in sports.
The league has announced that they will extend their pause until January 22nd, 2021 instead of the originally scheduled date of January 3rd, 2021. This means all games scheduled up to the 22nd will be postponed as a result. Along with this announcement the league has also released that Chicoutimi, Drummondville, Rimouski, and Shawinigan will be hosts to two teams to play two games in three days from January 22nd to 24th.
These four teams will also host teams for games as part of the Protected Environment event that will take place between January 29th and February 6th. In this scenario, each of the four host arenas will host games each day in the hope of playing twelve games in a nine-game span which equates to six games per team.
These Protective Environment events should help limit the exposure to the virus and create a safer playing environment for the players. Unfortunately, the aforementioned scenarios will only include Quebec-based teams to participate due to Public Health Restrictions. While plans are in place for the Quebec-based teams the league still has work to do regarding the Maritimes-based teams and will have to comply with regional Health Officials in order to find a solution and get them back on the ice.
QMJHL Players at the World Juniors
With Junior hockey virtually at a standstill for the time being the good news is the 2021 World Junior Championship is underway! There are several players from the QMJHL that have been selected to represent their country at this event and with the stoppage to the QMJHL season will dive into some of these players and their roles on their respective teams.
Dawson Mercer (C)