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SJHL eyeing a return to play for the 2021-22 season

SJHL eyeing a return to play for the 2021-22 season

SJHL eyeing a return to play for the 2021-22 season image
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The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) says it is preparing for a full return to play for the 2021-22 season.

SJHL president Bill Chow said the league will work with the Saskatchewan government to ensure appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols are in place that would allow a return to play.

Read more: Remaining 2020-21 season for Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League shelved

“The SJHL is optimistic that fans will be able to join us in our arenas. However, protocols like mandatory masking and social distancing may still need to be in effect,” Chow said in a statement Monday.

“Remaining vigilant and following public health safety measures, will help us get you back in our arenas.”

The SJHL started its 2020-12 season on Nov. 6, 2020, but less than a month later the season was paused after the Saskatchewan government brought in public health measures prohibiting sports teams from playing.

The season was officially cancelled on March 23 when the league said the province had not accepted its proposal to resume playing.

Read more: Saskatchewan WHL teams, SJHL receiving funding from province

The SJHL was looking at returning to play based on the Western Hockey League’s hub setup. The WHL set up a hub in Regina for its Saskatchewan- and Manitoba-based teams to play a shortened 24-game season.

Last week, the WHL cancelled its playoffs, saying travel restrictions across provincial and international borders to try to stem the tide of the global pandemic would make it difficult to conduct a post-season.

On Jan. 15, the province announced $1 million in funding for the SJHL to help address financial challenges the league and its teams are facing.

Chow said at the time the funding will create a more positive outlook for the league and its 12 teams due to the uncertainty COVID-19 created.

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