OHL Announces ‘Return To Play’ Plan
The Ontario Hockey League has announced a start date for the season, if everything goes according to plan, players will be back on the ice on December, 1, 2020.
You may remember our own Flint Firebirds were heading to the playoffs last season, prior to the coronoavirus pandemic ending the season early. My heart still hurts for the team. It was so awesome to see the Firebirds on a winning streak, and it was great to see so many fans at Timothy's Pub week after week for the Flint Firebirds Coach's Show. FYI - you can get a Flint Firebirds wrap year round at Timothy's Pub, and it is delicious.
Here is to hoping the season starts with no glitches. In the meantime, the league is dedicated to making sure players, staff, and fans are safe come game time. You can read the official press release below.
The Ontario Hockey League today announced that it is planning to return to play on December 1, 2020, subject to ensuring that the players, fans, staff and community are able to play and attend games safely. Over the next four months the League will continue to work with government and health agencies to finalize outstanding issues such as safe attendance at venues and cross border travel for teams and players.
“We are looking forward to getting back to playing hockey, but are committed to ensuring that we do so in a manner that is safe and healthy for our players, officials, families, billets, teams, staff, fans and the community,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “Players will remain at home until the season resumes and teams will work closely with them on both their academic studies and overseeing their on and off-ice development. In addition, the League will liaise with our facilities to ensure that our venues are safe for our return to play.”
The season will include a 64-game schedule and a 16-team playoff format. The regular season is scheduled to end on Thursday April 29, 2021. The 102nd Memorial Cup presented by Kia is scheduled to be played June 17-27, 2021 and will be hosted by either the Oshawa Generals or Soo Greyhounds.