Every organization in the QMJHL must feel a sense of relief heading into to this years training camp given the light at the end of the tunnel with regards to the pandemic. Nevertheless, if the last year and half have taught us anything it’s to expect the unexpected.
Planning is one thing, but there’s a strong sense that the bulk of organizations across the league are trying to honour the commitments to their prospects spanning the last three drafts. That’s phenomenal news for the drafted players within their system, but free agent invites are definitely few and far between.
Teams are full, actually their busting at the seems which is great to see after the reduction of training camp numbers a season ago due to COVID.
With the release of the preseason schedule many fans are questioning the delay of the start of the season. Obviously, with all the uncertainty of a last year the October start date allows teams and their players to solidify their schooling. CEGEP rules are an extremely important aspect of the league and need to be followed by the letter, one slip up could be very costly for all parties involved.
Every free agent invite should be incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate given the climate of the league. This season’s training camps are shaping up to potentially be the most competitive ever given the depth of talent from an overager perspective and sheer numbers of players vying for roster spots. Unlike a season ago, imports will be making their way to the country very soon which undoubtedly adds to the competitive nature of camp.
Every second of camp will mean something this season as teams continually evaluate and project talent from the last two drafts.
There’s no question the hockey minds with the league are penciling in their ghost rosters as we speak, but there should be a lot of movement when the next trading period window opens along with the waiver wire.
This years QMJHL training camp season will be intriguing to say the least and it will be a big test for everyone involved.
Speaking of tests, it remains to be seen how the league and the organizations will handle COVID heading into their respective camps.
How are they going to handle billets for players from afar?
Will American born players be allowed to cross the border, will teams in-still a brief quarantine period for US or Euro born players?
Will each organization test players before taking part in their rookie camp and full training camp as a precaution, if so how are they going to handle a positive test(s) or a potential outbreak. As you can see there’s still a lot to plan and consider for front office staff across the league.
Another intriguing aspect to all of this which could be a slippery slope considering the personal nature of the question, but will and are organizations now allowed to ask their prospects about their vaccination history?
Obviously, governmental rules will apply when it comes to crossing borders and entering certain provinces and the country, but that could definitely open up a can of worms with respect to the personal privacy of the players. You can count on the league and its organizations being on top of all of this to ensure a smooth start to the upcoming season.
The “48 hour rule” is always pretty intriguing to watch and follow when it comes to Q Camps, but with the recent ruling regarding athletes in the NCAA, there’s some speculation that things might drastically change with regards to eligibility south of the border, but for the most part those are just rumours.
Where does that ruling leave players across the CHL when it comes to being considered employees?
There’s no question the months ahead will be very interesting when it comes to that matter.
It’s great that the hockey world especially those that follow the CHL are talking about the start of training camps and the much anticipated season, a season that we all hope can be as normal as possible.
Keep it locked on FDS for more updates and insight on the QMJHL.