WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to officially announce the 2020-21 COVID-19 Modified Regular Season Schedule.
The 2020-21 regular season schedule has been significantly modified for the upcoming season from previous seasons with the health and safety of everyone involved being the number one priority.
“In the course of our planning for the upcoming season, it became clear that we had to further self-impose schedule modifications and restrictions to ensure that we were moving forward in a safe, structured and responsible manner.” stated MJHL Commissioner Kevin Saurette. “Each organization is to be commended for their absolute commitment to providing players with a safe development opportunity on and off the ice in the face of the difficult challenges ahead.”
The schedule will span over 22 weekends beginning on October 9th and ending on March 13th.
The schedule is split into four five week blocks separated by breaks in the schedule. The first self-imposed break is in the middle of November, followed by the traditional Christmas break and a further self-imposed break at the beginning of February. The implementation of breaks were essential to provide a necessary buffer to recover from potential COVID-19 implications and/or weather related disruption.
The schedule will be formatted into three four-team divisions to allow for:
- Significantly limited provincial travel for teams.
- Significantly minimizing the number of teams playing each other over a short period of time.
- Significantly minimizing risk of exposure between teams.
- Significantly reducing the number of potentially postponed (or cancelled) games due to potential COVID-19 implications.
Northwest (Dauphin, OCN, Swan Valley, Wayway)
Interior (Neepawa, Portage, Virden, Winkler)
Southeast (Selkirk, Steinbach, Winnipeg Blues, Winnipeg Freeze)
Each team will play the other three teams within their division eight times during the regular season (Four Home/Four Away).
Each team will play the eight teams outside of their division twice during the season.
Each team will play a 40-game regular season schedule which has been significantly reduced from the standard 60 game regular season schedule (20 Home/Twenty Away).
Each team will play two games a week and will only face one team each week.
Each team will play all of their games almost exclusively during the weekend this season (Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday).
Games scheduled within a teams own division are almost exclusively arranged in four game, two week blocks.
Playoff Format to be announced in the coming weeks.
As is the case for everyone throughout the province and beyond, these past months during the COVID-19 pandemic have placed significant financial stress on each MJHL team and community. Additional stress will be felt as each organization prepares for what will be required for the upcoming season to ensure we return to hockey in a safe, controlled and responsible manner. Teams will need and deserve all the necessary support they can be afforded during this difficult time as we prepare to return to the game we all love.
2020-21 Expansion Franchise Update
As earlier announced, an expansion franchise (Winnipeg Freeze) has been awarded to 50 Below Sports + Entertainment for the 2020-21 season and will join the MJHL as the 12th franchise for the upcoming season. The Winnipeg Freeze have also recently announced that they have named Josh Green as the first Head Coach and General Manager in franchise history.
The 50 Below Sports and Entertainment ownership team are familiar to the MJHL as they also own the Winnipeg Blues franchise.
The Winnipeg Freeze have been very busy moving forward with all necessary business and hockey operations planning as a new member of the Manitoba Junior Hockey league in preparation for the upcoming season – This includes building a successful team on and off the ice.
Please note the below points as it relates to Winnipeg Freeze Hockey Operations planning and building a competitive team for the upcoming season:
The Winnipeg Freeze are eligible to protect any un-listed free agents.
The Winnipeg Freeze are eligible to acquire players via trade.
The Winnipeg Freeze have been allotted six compensatory draft picks (to be implemented at the end of each of the six rounds for the upcoming MJHL Draft) in addition to the six customary draft picks as a member of the MJHL. The compensatory picks may only be traded by the Winnipeg Freeze to another member team in the MJHL with the exception of the Winnipeg Blues – If a compensatory pick is not traded prior to the upcoming MJHL Draft, the pick will vanish.
Player movement between the Winnipeg Blues and Winnipeg Freeze will not be permitted after October 9th.
The Winnipeg Freeze have held a Player Identification Camp in preparation for the upcoming season which concludes today.
Please stay tuned for further exciting announcements in the coming days as we mover closer to Opening Weekend of the 2020-21 MJHL Season!