The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced today that it is planning to delay the start of the 2020-21 regular season until November 14th.
“We’ve been actively monitoring the developments in our region and with the US / Canadian border and working closely with authorities in amateur hockey and public health,” said SIJHL Commissioner Darrin Nicholas. “On the Canadian side, we are seeing positive indications as our region has now entered Phase III of reopening. However, the restrictions that remain in place are clearly a barrier to a traditional start time to our season.”
Nicholas continued: “The safety of our communities, fans, players and team staff is of paramount importance. Beyond that, we’d like to have our fans both north and south of the border experience the SIJHL brand of hockey they’ve come to expect and all indications are that a mid-November puck drop gives us the best chance for this to be achieved.”
The 2020-21 SIJHL schedule will be announced at a later date.
“On behalf of the board of governors, we once again would like to thank all of our communities, players, families and staff for their continued support through these unchartered times. Our new commissioner, Darrin Nicholas, has hit the ground running and done a phenomenal job since minute one in getting up to speed and taking charge of a plan to move forward. After many conversations, not only amongst ourselves as owners as well as with provincial guidance and communication with our arenas we feel that the November 14th date allows us time to continue along a pathway to return to play,” said Doug Lein, Chairman of the Board of Governors.
Teams will have the option of holding extended training camps beginning September 14, 2020 which will be subject to any public health restrictions as well as league and sport return-to-play guidelines that may be in effect at that time.
The extended training camps will strictly follow all the COVID-19 guidelines.
SIJHL venues are also preparing for protocols to be enforced once the buildings are open to fans again.