COVID-19: the QMJHL postpones the resumption of activities

The QMJHL, which had recently said that it was not keen on the idea of ​​​​playing games behind closed doors, has chosen to postpone the resumption of its games again, this time to February 1.

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In a press release published on Friday, the Courteau circuit explained that the return to the ice was delayed “since there is no clear horizon on the relaxation of the restrictions of COVID-19”.

This is the third time that the QMJHL has postponed the return to competition of its 18 teams. These were originally due to return to play on December 28, after the traditional Christmas break. The surge in COVID cases had forced the circuit authorities to postpone the return to January 7, then to next week.

Need for spectators

This resumption of activities from January 17, however, seemed conditional on the matches being held in front of stands filled to at least 50% of their capacity, which is still not possible.

The Quebec government did not announce any relaxations in this regard during its press briefing on Thursday.

“Without saying that it is imperative [financier] for us to play in front of spectators, we need it, “said the Journal Martin Lavallée, assistant to commissioner Gilles Courteau, last week.


Junior hockey fans are eager to reconnect with the amphitheaters and be able to cheer on their favorite team, as was the case in this photo taken on October 9, at the Videotron Centre.

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Junior hockey fans are eager to reconnect with the amphitheaters and be able to cheer on their favorite team, as was the case in this photo taken on October 9, at the Videotron Centre.

Even if the match break is extended, the players still returned to their teams on Friday, in order to be able to resume training and lessons.

They had to undergo several COVID tests before they could return to their host family and club facilities.

About 100 players, staff and league officials have contracted the disease since the holidays, but the vast majority were symptom-free as of last week.

Despite this new postponement, the league says it still hopes to be able to play a full schedule of 68 games.

The match of hopes postponed

The Canadian Hockey League, for its part, has decided to postpone the match of the best hopes of the circuit, which was to be held on February 2, in Kitchener, Ont., “due to the continuing challenges of the pandemic”. The resumption date has not yet been determined.

This meeting features the prospects of three Canadian leagues (the QMJHL, the OHL and the Western Hockey League) most likely to be selected in the next National League draft.

The list of participants has not yet been released.

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