courtesy of hockey manitoba
Hockey Canada has “released the hounds” by announcing today that each of the 13 member associations across the country, including Hockey Manitoba, will be able to determine their return to play time tables on an individual basis.
Amateur hockey was shut down in this country on the early evening of March 12 and there have been no sanctioned activities since.
READ MORE: Manitoba junior hockey on ‘pause’ due to COVID-19
In a news release, Hockey Canada said this decision was made following ongoing discussions with the board of directors, Canada’s chief medical officer, the 13 member associations, and public health authorities across the country.
Hockey Manitoba Executive Director Peter Woods was part of that discussion process. Now he said that Hockey Manitoba is setting up a timeline that could see a potential return to play in September — at least in Manitoba.
“Each branch and each province has been recovering at a different pace. Originally, the plan was when we shut down collectively, that we were going to return collectively,” Woods said.
“But some of the members felt it was a little bit unfair that some branches are recovering at a quicker response time than some of the others. So it only makes sense that we would move forward at our own pace and the one that recovered last wouldn’t be holding up the rest of the country.”
Woods says competitive balance is always part of the equation, and in terms of flattening the coronavirus COVID-19 curve, Manitoba is certainly at or near the top of the list of the 13 Hockey Canada member associations in terms of preparing a return-to-play document and being in a position to start the 2020-21 season.