Sport minister says OHL should ban bodychecking, bodily contact
If the Ontario Hockey League needs to stage a 2020-21 season, it’s going to need to be an especially irregular one.
Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Tradition Industries, Lisa MacLeod, mentioned Wednesday that one in all her most urgent issues is the OHL’s “return-to-play plan.” The league — which is aiming for an early-December begin date to the marketing campaign — and its gamers are going to have an extended, unusual path forward in the event that they needs to make this season occur.
“It could be secure to say that physique contact, until it’s incremental, is not going to be permitted on account of COVID-19,” MacLeod said. “That might pose a problem when it comes to how they amend their play.”
MacLeod mentioned that her ministry and the league are in shut, fixed contact and are attempting desperately to determine a restart plan for the 20-team league and its a whole bunch of gamers. She added that the OHL hasn’t but requested any sort of economic help from the province in the course of the extended stoppage in play because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We work extremely nicely with them, (OHL commissioner) David Department is part of our ministerial advisory committee as nicely, in order that they’re nicely conscious of the well being disaster that we discover ourselves in within the second wave,” MacLeod mentioned.
The Ontario Hockey League mentioned in a press release that it received’t touch upon the negotiations with the Ontario authorities, that are ongoing, in response to the Canadian Press.
Except for the plain challenges of asking elite-level teenage athletes to basically make a 180-degree shift in the best way they’ve performed the game for almost a decade at that time — physique contact and checking being a central aspect —different obstacles are dimming the OHL’s path again to any resemblance of normalcy.
A type of challenges can be overcoming border closures that may possible power the league’s three American groups, together with Erie, Flint and Saginaw, to both transfer throughout the border to Canada for the season, or play out the marketing campaign in opposition to solely their fellow U.S.-based squads.
Additionally, two of the OHL’s extra outstanding franchises — the GTA-based Mississauga Steelheads and the Ottawa 67’s and — are in what are at present thought of “sizzling zones” the place the second wave of COVID-19 has seen case numbers rival these of early spring when the pandemic was at its peak.
Issues don’t look all too promising within the quick time period for one in all Canada’s flagpole establishments and one of many high feeder leagues to the NHL.
Extra hockey protection from Yahoo Sports activities Canada