QMJHL Announces Plan for Oct. 1 Return with Limited Fans

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which just held its draft last week, announced plans for the league to return on Oct. 1 with limited fans in attendance. The league said it’s planning to play a full 68-game schedule in 2020-21.

League commissioner Gilles Courteau made the announcement. He said that the league informed the four provincial governments where it operates — Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick — of its intention to start the season on Oct. 1.

Courteau also said that he is confident that “some fans will be permitted to attend games” as provinces continue to ease restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While this is a positive announcement for all of us that are looking forward to getting back to the Eastlink Centre, we fully understand that the necessity for compliance with our provincial government and the Chief Public Health office, along with the continued importance of physical distancing,” the Charlottetown Islanders said in a release.

“This is a positive announcement by the league, however, we do understand that there are still many factors to be determined and considered before we can begin selling season seats,” said a statement released by the Moncton Wildcas. “We are currently working with the QMJHL on developing a Return to Play Protocol for the 2020-2021 season in order to ensure a safe return for our players, staff members and fans, in compliance with Public Health guidelines.”

There has been no word on the OHL or WHL plans for the 2020-21 season.