Regional Hockey League delays start to 2020-2021 season

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Windsor Wild will have to wait a little longer to jump back on the ice, after the Regional Hockey League announced the season will be delayed until further notice.
According to a press release from the Wild, the league held a governors meeting earlier this week, where they decided the current circumstances in hockey arenas across the province make it nearly impossible to play.
Hockey Quebec is in phase five of its return-to-play strategy. As it stands, though, teams cannot consist of a regular 20-person roster. Minor leagues in Quebec are playing four-on-four right now, in order to maintain a two-metre distance between players sitting on the bench.
This means RHL teams will need to cut their roster down to 11 players, which the Wild, and most teams in the league, aren’t willing to do. Hockey Quebec is expected to make another announcement regarding phase six by October 14.
“I have hope we’ll start the season in October. It would be a lot of fun for Windsor to bring back some life to the city,” said Wild head coach Sébastien Letarte. Phase six means everything is back to normal and teams can suit up a full roster.
Letarte said the Wild’s inaugural campaign in the RHL last year was a huge success. They have a strong core of players returning for this season, he continued, so expectations are a bit higher this time around.
But at the moment, everything is off the table. The team is no longer practicing or playing exhibition games, he explained. Windsor’s home arena is under renovation and the team doesn’t want to spend money on ice time if the league ends up cancelling the season.
“If the season doesn’t come back, these are just added costs for the team and considering there’s a lot of [COVID-19] cases, we’re cautious, so we want to wait for the final decision in October,” Letarte said.

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