The entire hockey world has been on pause since March 12th when the NHL, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and literally hundreds if not thousands of other hockey organizations shut down around the world.
With COVID-19 restrictions now loosening in many parts of Canada though, Hockey Canada is working to get its 600,000+ minor hockey players back on the ice. In an exclusive Q&A session with The Athletic, Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney answers some important questions from parents and hockey players alike.
The most pressing question of course is:
“Will my kids play this fall?”
From Renney himself:
Yes, I believe so. I’m not sure if you can call it playing hockey, in the truest sense of the word, but I think your child will get on the ice. I think they’ll be able to have fun. I think that they’ll develop their skill and acquire even more of a love for the game. I don’t know what it will look like. I don’t know that we’ll play bona fide games. That remains to be seen. But I’m very optimistic that your child will get on the ice this year.
Okay… so we’re hopeful, but the jury is still out. What will hockey look like when it does return?
Again from Renney and The Athletic:
Q: If the focus is on practice, are we looking at potentially segmented practices, where some kids from the team are on the ice at one time, or where they’re kept in different parts of the ice?
A: It really and truly depends as much on the relevant health authority, moreso than us at the end of the day. We can provide guidelines and give information on what alternative hockey can look like, and how to segment the ice to a ratio that’s suitable and conducive to what the public health authority tells us. At the end of the day, it will be determined by the public health authority — in terms of proximity, number of people, and what the ratio looks like, from a coach to players.
Q:Will I have to dress my child in their equipment at home?
A: There’s a chance of that. And it’s not such a bad idea. I know, even coaching NHL teams, when we went from our home rink to a venue that was maybe six or eight miles away, we would dress and drive. So if NHLers can do it, my guess is a five-, and nine-year-old can. I’m not telling you that’s going to be protocol, but it’s not the wrong thing to do.
For the full article from The Athletic, click below: