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.
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.
Speaking of threading needles, Joshua Clipperton notes the dates Canadian junior leagues are targeting:
The QMJHL is suspending its schedule through Jan. 3 because of the worsening COVID-19 situation in both Quebec and the Maritimes.
Meanwhile, the WHL is aiming to open its season Jan. 8, while the OHL has targeted Feb. 4.
Statement from QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau: pic.twitter.com/IP2qQSBfwG
— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) November 30, 2020
As with all things COVID, things can change. But the QMJHL and other leagues continue to deal with disruptions.