The Quebec Main Junior Hockey League is now the one main junior league within the nation that’s nonetheless making an attempt to finish its playoffs for this season.
The trouble continues regardless of rising instances of COVID-19 in Quebec and persevering with outbreaks of the illness in New Brunswick.
On Monday, the Western Hockey League pulled the plug on its playoffs in an admission the illness was making it too unsafe to finish the season.
The WHL, which options groups in B.C.,the Prairie provinces and the northwest United States, had resumed play in February after delaying the beginning of its season.
However in a press release, league commissioner Ron Robison admitted the explosion of instances of COVID-19 in latest weeks had compelled his hand.
“We remained hopeful that public well being circumstances would enhance, however sadly that’s not the truth we see in entrance of us at the moment,” Robison mentioned.
The Ontario Hockey League by no means even obtained its season underway.
Jamie Tozer follows and writes in regards to the QMJHL on the web site Station Nation.
He mentioned it is a bit of a puzzle as to why the league is so bent on finishing the playoffs.
“Sure, you are able to do it, however we’re attending to the purpose the place you need to surprise if it is the proper factor to do,” he mentioned.
League officers have been capable of handle the close to fixed day-to-day modifications of guidelines and restrictions round COVID-19.
The early success of the Atlantic bubble helped, permitting two divisions, one consisting of 12 groups in Quebec and the second with the six Maritime groups.
However the collapse of the bubble and the subsequent delay in its reopening till a minimum of Could compelled the league to vary its playoff format.
Now, the 2 Nova Scotia golf equipment is not going to participate. The three New Brunswick groups will play towards one another in a round-robin-style event.
The winner will go on to face first-place Charlottetown, however there is no telling proper now if there’s any willingness by the governments of New Brunswick and P.E.I. to let that occur.
“Logistically, that is going to be actually onerous,” Tozer mentioned, “The New Brunswick and P.E.I. governments have not been versatile to this point.”
In reality, on Friday, P.E.I. introduced new tighter restrictions for getting into the province in gentle of outbreaks in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
And that is simply the primary hurdle. The second hurdle can be getting the winner of that sequence to Quebec to compete within the closing round-robin for the President’s Cup in some form of hockey bubble.
So, why do it?
It is not going for monetary causes, Tozer mentioned.
Maritime groups have been capable of have followers within the constructing however are restricted to about 25 per cent capability.
Even with a sellout, that is not practically sufficient to interrupt even, not to mention flip a revenue.
“I used to be speaking with Trevor [Georgie, the Saint John Sea Dogs president and general manager] and so they’re shedding a ton of cash,” Tozer mentioned.
Quebec groups did obtain $12 million in funding from the Quebec authorities, however these groups cannot have any followers within the constructing, so they don’t seem to be doing nicely both.
Tozer wonders why the choice wasn’t made to shut issues down, restrict the monetary harm and put together for subsequent season as an alternative.
However, he mentioned, the optimism could also be primarily based on how governments have handled the league previously.
“I believe they’re in an uncommon scenario, and so they’re used to getting what they need from politicians.”