Reports are emerging that the 2020-21 OHL season is off. The Ontario Hockey League is the one Canadian major junior league to not play any games. This is due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple media outlets broke the news on Tuesday morning.
BREAKING: The OHL is expected to announce the shutdown of its 2020-21 season on Tuesday.https://t.co/jMOyNTpv65
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 20, 2021
2020-21 OHL Season Called Off
The news is happening one day after the Western Hockey League called off its post-season. WHL officials announced that the league would only play 24 games and not have playoffs due to the pandemic.
The OHL was eyeing a return of an abbreviated schedule a couple of weeks ago according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. However, plans were nixed due to the recent stay-at-home order issued by the province. Ontario’s minister of sport Lisa MacLeod said Ontario was a few days away from allowing the league to return to play. She called that return irresponsible after the new lockdown orders were announced.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has had a few hiccups with its schedule due to the virus. However, it is planning on going forward with its post-season.
What it Means
Major junior hockey has been quiet due to the coronavirus. It will be the second year that the Memorial Cup didn’t occur due to the global pandemic.
The OHL has been on hold since mid-March of 2020 after canceling the remaining 56 games of the 2019-20 regular season.
This is a blow to players that were looking to continue their development and get drafted or signed by an NHL team. These players have lost more development time and chance to chase the J. Ross Robertson and Memorial Cups.Hopefully there is a way the OHL talent can showcase their skills in some sort of way before the draft.
Losing a full season also hurts the towns that host the games that bring fans to their respective areas. Here’s hoping that the virus can be somewhat under control for the start of the 2021-22 season.