Everyone wants to see a return of normalcy in our lives.
With the Atlantic Bubble opening today many think that is a step in the right direction.
For hockey crazed Maritimers a return to normalcy means one thing; a return to the ice to play the game that they love.
The President of the NB/PEI Major U-18 Hockey League Barry Thompson believes in taking a realistic approach when it comes to projecting the start of the 2020-2021 season.
“We have been in talks with Hockey New Brunswick and Hockey PEI as to see what their projections are and that type of thing,” Thompson said regarding the start of the season.
“The best case scenario that we would be looking at is a development, skills and team selection leading us up for what we hoped having something going by November,” explained Thompson.
“Realistically it may end up being a season that starts on January 1st.”
Thompson is taking a very strategic approach for any proposed start up.
“When we say January 1st we are looking at a couple of different aspects,” stressed Thompson.
“Let’s be real, let’s hope we don’t have a second wave of the COVID thing which would shut us down for an extended period of time.”
“The other side of this is that we have teams that of course billet kids and that would be bringing kids in from all over place.”
“We would be caught with bringing kids in half way through a semester, whatever a semester may look like when it comes to school,” stressed Thompson.
“Would these kids move down for a part of a semester to start up with the hockey season, which is a hockey season that we aren’t sure if it will even happen.”
“There’s just so much uncertainty.”
“That’s what we are up against,” Thompson said.
Thompson and all the executives in the league have been working diligently look weighing several options.
“For now it’s trying to figure out and project what we are going to do,” explained Thompson.
“As the President of the league I’m open to have something going by November, but I want to be realistic. I fully expect we will definitely have the league going by January 1st and from there until we do that and look at Hockey Canada and the way they are going there is a good chance that there won’t be National Championships so it might be nice to extend our season,” explained Thompson.
“We could make the season longer so we aren’t just playing fifteen games and then we would be done, it would be nice to see us going into the latter part of April.”
Thompson and team officials will continue to monitor the situation and will meet accordingly.
“We are going to continue to build it a we go,” Thompson said.
“We are looking at six week intervals to get the guys together to meet.”
“I like to have a face to face meeting with the guys in the September time frame to project start ups as far as schedules go,” Thompson said.
Thompson hinted toward the league having two showcase weekends this season and perhaps playing for a league championship.
“We might have a showcase weekend to start the season and one near the end,” explained Thompson.
Hockey is part of the fabric of the Maritimes, but it’s great to see the leadership of the NB/PEI Major U-18 Hockey League taking a cautious and realistic approach during these unprecedented times.