Every Major Junior player is welcomed back with open arms during the holiday season. A matter of fact it has become a tradition for many Major Midget and U18 AAA organizations to have a tournament style structure or scrimmages over the Christmas break.
Given the current state of affairs with QMJHL and U18 programs during the ongoing pandemic these teams and players should use a very cautious approach when allowing new players into their bubbles. Every league across Canada is skating on thin ice given the horrific COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s hope every league across the Maritimes and Canada can getting firing on all cylinders in the new year.
QMJHL players based out of Quebec who live here in the Maritimes are still two to three days away from ending their mandatory 14-day quarantine.
One can only imagine what their second round of quarantine was like, because the first round was definitely challenging enough.
QMJHL organizations and the players alike made the best out of a very difficult situation in September before the start of training camps. Players and team personnel handled it beautifully, but it was still very trying given the circumstances. Very trying, but necessary.
With the extended break and projected mid-January start up, Q players have to biting at the bit to get back on the ice. With all of their studies now online, one would assume that a large group of Q players based in each Atlantic province will get together to practice or play over the break.
With so many interruptions to the season players have definitely lost a lot of developmental time. Time away from the ice, but by all accounts, not time away from the gym.
Players from Atlantic Canada have performed very well this season in the QMJHL and look to continue that trend moving forward. The level of play when games were allowed to be played was surprisingly very high given the circumstances, which points to the professionalism, character and work ethic of every player across the league.
Every player, coach, hockey fan, journalist and scout wants the game to return bigger and better than ever in the new year. Nevertheless, we all have to continue to take the appropriate steps to keep everyone involved safe and healthy until the vaccine can be distributed.
Traditions around the game and in our personal lives may look different this holiday season, which is incredibly hard to accept, but necessary. The last nine months has put a lot of things in perspective, especially those things that matter most.
Everyone is anxious to get back in the rinks or on the ice. Hockey has become a way of life for so many of us, but now more than ever we have to accept and follow safety guidelines and protocols. Somethings are bigger than the game, unfortunately some traditions have to take a back seat this season.
Sadly, we won’t be seeing the pictures on team’s social media feeds of Q players skating with their old teams which is a truly invaluable experience for young upcoming draft eligible kids.
Things may be different right now, but we still share a common passion and love for the game and that’s what matters most.
Take care, Stay safe and Merry Christmas to you and yours, let’s hope we can see each other in the rinks in the new year.