The OHL announced an updated timeline on its Return to Play plan for the 2020-21 season Thursday.
The #OHL has announced an updated timeline on its Return to Play plan for the 2020-21 season, one that includes a targeted Regular Season start date of February 4, 2021.— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) October 29, 2020
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Under the new timeline, training camps would potentially open on January 23rd, with a 40-game regular season schedule kicking off on February 4th. The OHL says teams would play primarily against opponents in their ‘geographic region’, to reduce travel in consideration of the health and safety of players and staff. The plan still needs government approval. Barrie Colts owner Jim Payetta says they are cautiously optimistic that the season can go ahead as planned.
“We’re hopeful, fingers crossed,” said Payetta. “We’re really not in a position to be able to start having players back, until there’s a schedule that get’s released we’re still in hurry up and wait mode.”
Colts fans, we are sorry to have to report that there has been another delay to the start of our season. On October 29th, the Ontario Hockey League announced that OHL hockey will now start on February 4th, 2021.— Barrie Colts (@OHLBarrieColts) October 29, 2020
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Payetta recognizes the challenges of a shortened season, especially after the long off season, but the team remains in “planning mode” in preparation for 2021. The decision on if fans will be able to attend games in-person is also still up in the air.
“We haven’t been given a timeline,” says Payetta “We’re just taking it one day at a time, which is what we’ve been doing since back in March.”