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Hockey Canada provides statement on return to hockey

WINNIPEG, MB, – Hockey fans from across Canada were pleased to receive some positive news on Thursday morning when Hockey Canada announced how each province will move forward and determine when it is safe to return to the ice this fall.

“This is an exciting and important first step on the way back to sanctioned hockey activity returning to the province of Manitoba,” MJHL Director of Operations, Kevin Saurette shared. “We are working very closely with the Provincial Health Authorities and Hockey Manitoba to ensure a safe return to play proposal is put in place for everyone involved.”

“We look forward to MJHL Hockey returning to the province this fall as we continue to plan for the upcoming 2020/21 MJHL season slated to start towards the end of September,” Saurette concluded.

Official statement below provided by Hockey Canada

CALGARY, Alta. – The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada from Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, on the return-to-hockey process in Canada.

“On March 12, the decision was made to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities across the country. This was a difficult decision, but one made to maintain the health and safety of all participants and the general public amid growing concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Currently there are no Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities being conducted, and we are working with our Members on their return-to-hockey plans. After ongoing discussions with the board of directors, our chief medical officer, the 13 Members and public health authorities across the country, it has been determined that the best approach for a return to hockey in Canada is to allow each Member the opportunity to work with authorities in their respective regions to determine when it is safe to return to the ice in areas that fall under their jurisdiction. We expect the timing of each Member’s return to hockey will be different, but will be based on the advice of their government and public health authority.

It is imperative to note that we are not ready to return to the game across the country. As we have seen in respect to flattening the curve, the impact of the pandemic varies from region to region. Permitting our Members the opportunity to decide on an appropriate return-to-hockey timeline will allow them to work directly with public health authorities to determine when it is safe to return while also implementing specific safety measures and rules within their associations and leagues.

Hockey Canada knows the game will look quite different, and the return will happen at different speeds and at different times across the country. Be assured, we continue to work on our multi-faceted return-to-hockey plan that includes health and safety regulations, communications and seasonal structure. As with so many people across the country, we look forward to returning to the game when it is safe to do so, and we will support our 13 Members as we continue to work towards getting back on the ice.”

For more information on the Return to Hockey plan, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/returntohockey.