Hockey Edmonton and other sanctioned leagues across Alberta will review the viability of the 2020-21 regular season if there is no new information regarding the provincial government’s health guidelines by Monday, February 1.
“This is simply reality. We want to be honest and up front in what we can realistically achieve,” says Hockey Edmonton General Manager Steve Hogle. “We and our partners need some degree of certainty in order to move forward with some kind of league play.”
If there are no changes by February 1, we could see the end of the balance of the regular seasons for the more than 100,000 players across the province. The sport was shut down back in November. When players were permitted on the ice, Hockey Edmonton and its partners effectively managed the risk by adhering to strict safety protocols.
Hockey Alberta has met with Alberta Health to discuss ways teams could return to arenas in a manner that protects the health of all involved. But all timelines of when hockey will be allowed back and the required safety protocols that may be in place if that happens are still uncertain.
“We continue to strongly support the expertise provided by government health experts and the importance of the well-being of all Albertans during the pandemic,” adds Hogle. “We have also recognized the sentiment expressed by parents: the mental and physical health benefits of participating in hockey in a safe manner are important to their children.”
Hockey Edmonton remains ready to move quickly to re-establish hockey programming should the provincial government see fit to adjust its health orders.
We are also actively exploring the option of a spring league or other programming if restrictions are eased. Options for flexible programming that could be implemented to complete the hockey season include skill development camps and 3 on 3 hockey.