SJHL still without season start date
The SJHL Logo. (Courtesy: The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League)
REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League still does not have a start date for the 2020-21 season, after rumours suggested the league was gearing up for an early November puck drop.
“Where that has come from, I have no idea,” Bill Chow, the president of the SJHL, said. “I don’t have a date and all I can say if that it’s bad information.”
The SJHL had targeted an Oct. 9 start date, but is postponing that date by two week intervals until they get the green light from the government of Saskatchewan.
Chow said right now, SJHL teams are currently creating their plans for adhering to Hockey Canada’s return to play guidelines. So far, half of the teams have submitted these proposals.
The Government of Saskatchewan needs to review and accept these plans for the SJHL to move forward and propose a start date.
“At the end of the day we want to make sure we’re doing things as safely as possible in regards to everybody’s safety when it comes to into the arena’s so that’s the first step,” Chow said.
Fans are also buzzing about what the capacity in arenas will be, as physical distancing rules are in effect. Chow says it’s not financially viable for teams to have no fans and the junior hockey league is focused on other matters, like returning to play in a safe manner.
“I don’t believe 50 per cent capacity’s is in the equation right now until we get these protocols in and completed,” said Chow. “Then we can start to fine tune it and get down to what’s going to be acceptable.”