Hockey leagues develop return-to-play plans

Hockey leagues develop return-to-play plans

The Central Canada Hockey League, in which the Hawkesbury Hawks and Rockland Nationals play, is expected to enter its 2021-22 season on September 23. A 55-game season will be held, with the 12 teams facing each opponent five times. 

The top eight teams will enter playoffs on March 24 and the Bogart Cup Championship Series will end on May 24. Camps and pre-season events were expected to be scheduled for August. 

Meanwhile, the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL), in which the Clarence Castors, St-Isidore Eagles, and Vankleek Hill Cougars play, announced last week that the regular season was expected to begin in September or October this year. The league said its plans were dependent on Ontario’s reopening plan. 

“One factor that will help this move forward is for all players, parents and fans to help us by getting vaccinated as quickly as possible,” the league said in a statement. “Please stay safe and this will happen.” 

The Ontario government announced last week that professional and elite amateur teams across a range of sports, including hockey, could hold full-contact practice and training, provided provincial guidelines were followed. But the accelerated timeframe does not include the local leagues, which will need to wait until later in Ontario’s reopening plan to begin training. 

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