With Quebec relaxing restrictions and starting to bring the economy back on track, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League recently made an announcement that they’ve started prepping for the resumption of the competition in the month of October.
The league is contemplating full return to action, with a complete season, in a few months from now. However, there will be fewer fans in attendance. It would be interesting for everyone as well as the Canadian Hockey League in specific to see how the action unfolds in such unprecedented times.
League Commissioner made a formal announcement recently
The intent of the league is to lead by example, by taking an aggressive reopening approach. Gilles Courteau, the QMJHL Commissioner recently spoke about the plan of holding the complete season, combined with the possibility of welcoming back some fans to the arena too. As the league spans across four different provinces of Canada, they had to begin by sending official notifications to the governments of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
Normally, the regular season of QMJHL begins somewhere in the last two weeks of September each year. Commissioner Courteau made an announcement on June 2 that this time it will begin on October 1 instead. The league will formally come up with a comprehensive return to play plan, in compliance with the public health rules and to make sure there are minimum risks involved.
Nevertheless, the return still looks uncertain
There is no denying the fact that Covid-19 pandemic has been highly unpredictable. Hence, the formal return to action will depend completely on whether the number of people suffering from the disease drops consistently or not. As of now, Quebec is the epicentre of Covid-19 in all of Canada, being one of the most significantly impacted regions in the North American continent. However, the province has also been amongst the most eager regions to bring life back to normal, at least in areas outside of Montreal.
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were the least impacted provinces, which managed to prevent mass breakout of the virus, unlike how things unfolded in Ontario and Québec. Given the present situation, the league teams best positioned to begin the new season are the ones outside of the La Belle province. Once again, provided there is no spike in the infections.
Commissioner Courteau’s announcement struck a positive chord with everyone
In the event that Quebec isn’t able to sufficiently control the spread of the virus, some of the provinces might start protesting against travel from a severely impacted area, into their own jurisdictions. For instance, the Charlottetown Islanders expressed eagerness for getting back into action, but stated they will comply with the instructions of their chief public health office and the provincial government.
Regardless, the announcement from Commissioner Courteau struck a very hopeful and positive chord. Although he didn’t specify the exact number, but did mention that they are looking at a full season comprising of 68 games.