Graduating hockey players won’t get another chance on the ice

July 15, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

After a dismal 2020 / 21 season that was more like a series of practices than any real kind of league play, Junior Leagues in Ontario are gearing up for a new season.

The Provincial Junior Hockey League is looking at an October 1 start this year if all goes well.

They gave it a try for this past year but eventually just scrapped the entire season after restrictions made it pretty much impossible to continue with any real kind of hockey season.

The games that did take place were played with all sorts of restrictions including a ‘no contact’ rule prompting one player to say the games were ‘more like a practice’ than real hockey.

The cancellation of the season left many graduating players without a final year of glory in the Junior leagues.

Some graduating players started a petition to try to convince the governing body – Hockey Canada – to reverse its decision not to allow an extension for graduating players and give them an extra year to make up for the lost season.

However, Hockey Canada is sticking with its decisions saying an interruption in the process would trickle down and affect younger players who want to continue through the hockey ranks.

“Hockey Canada has empathy for any young person who has been deprived of the opportunity to experience significant events in their lives over the past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as attending their high school graduation, leaving home for the first time to attend university, or participating in extra-curricular activities, including playing hockey,” Hockey Canada said in a statement. “While the losses suffered by those individuals, to both their physical and mental health, is immeasurable, Hockey Canada does not believe making changes to its age Divisions, to address the needs of one age group, is the right thing to do for its many other younger players, who have been similarly affected over the past eleven months. Accordingly, Hockey Canada does not anticipate changing its age classifications for the 2021-22 season.”

The decision means graduating players will record a blank page in the record books for their final year in the sport.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.