QMJHL pauses 2020-21 season until Jan. 3 amid COVID-19 spike in Canada

QMJHL pauses 2020-21 season until Jan. 3 amid COVID-19 spike in Canada
via QMJHL

Amid a second wave of COVID-19 in Quebec/Canada, the QMJHL put its 2020-21 season on hold through Jan. 3. In their release, the QMJHL phrased it as prolonging the holiday break.

QMJHL prolongs holiday break to Jan. 3 amid second wave of COVID-19

“The current situation with the pandemic in the regions in which we operate makes it extremely difficult to play games,” QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said. “With the holidays just around the corner, the provinces in the Maritimes have restricted access and travel, while red zone restrictions in Quebec do not permit us to play.”

In the past week (ending on Nov. 30), Quebec reported 9,165 cases of COVID-19, with 214 deaths. Overall, Quebec reported the most COVID-19 cases (142,371) and deaths (7,056) of any Canadian province.

QMJHL pauses 2020-21 season until Jan. 3 amid COVID-19 spike in Canada Quebec second wave
via the Canadian government

On Tuesday, Pierre LeBrun reported that the NHL still hopes to begin the 2020-21 season in early January. That goal remains despite slow progress between the NHL and NHLPA.

Convincing the players to take greater salary deferrals is already a large hurdle in getting the season started. If Canada takes some time to recover from a second wave of COVID-19, it could make it that much tougher for the NHL to thread the needle. With typical 14-day quarantine standards in Canada in mind, it will be that much tougher to hold typical training camps.

While Quebec’s rates come to mind with the 2020-21 QMJHL season in mind, it’s important to note that it is not the only province dealing with a second wave.

QMJHL pauses 2020-21 season until Jan. 3 amid COVID-19 spike in Canada second wave
via the Canadian government

Speaking of threading needles, Joshua Clipperton notes the dates Canadian junior leagues are targeting:

As with all things COVID, things can change. But the QMJHL and other leagues continue to deal with disruptions.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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