Just a handful of days into 2021 and Covid 19 continues to be a major concern as we all try to forget 2020.
This global pandemic has taken many lives, destroyed a lot of economies and has done it's tole on people mentally across the globe.
Professional sports has found a way to push forward, but Covid has wiped out all amateur sports and Junior hockey right across the country. The World Junior Tournament with a few scares early , managed to pull off a great showing in Edmonton with no fans.
Where does that leave the 11 leagues in the CJHL? It would be very difficult for any of these leagues to play with no fans, but that seems to be where we might be headed.
The SJHL did issue a press release last week with a plan to carry on with approval from Saskatchewan Health and the Saskatchewan Gov't with all 12 teams seasons in limbo.
The Flin Flon Bombers will also have to work with the Manitoba side being a border town and may have a real tough time getting back on the ice at all in 2021.
While we all sit back and see what unfolds in the next few weeks I got to thinking about the 20 year old situation, how travel would work and if I would even be permitted to travel with the team if we get going again.
I also thought about young Justin Lies who, I have been following since I saw him play Bantam Triple A hockey. He stood out the very first time I watched him and wasn't surprised he got drafted by Vancouver in the WHL in the third round in 2018.
It is nice to see a local kid from Flin Flon get to play in arguibly the best junior league in the world and carry on the torch of so many local greats of the past.
Growing up in Flin Flon, Justin also dreamed of playing for his hometown Bombers and was given the chance with the Giants loaning him to Flin Flon with the WHL delaying the start of their season.
Lies did suit up for a few exhibition games and was in uniform for the home opener against Melfort in early November. Unfortunately the second wave of Covid hit and here we are today wondering when we will see hockey again.
I had a chance to interview Justin and get his perspective on how Covid has affected him and the others around him who have seen their careers hit a stand still.
You can hear the interview with Justin here. https://soundcloud.com/102-9-cfar-podcasts