The General Manager for the Kemptville 73s is happy to see the ball rolling toward a return to play for the Central Canadian Hockey League.
However, despite the progress, Terry Nichols feels the province has not made it a smooth process.
“We’ve been in contact with the health department numerous times, and I just think they missed the ball, especially for a league like ours where we played all those games last year and didn’t have a single case,” Nichols said.
The CCHL was not among those listed when the province rolled out an accelerated return-to-play framework for professional and elite-amateur sports leagues.
Nichols says considering the league’s track record for developing players, it’s lack of inclusion on the list makes no sense.
“Teams at our level go on to Canadian championships,” Nichols said. “And when you think about it, we have players who get drafted into the NHL, and we go to the World Junior A Championships to represent Canada.”
The 73s were one of the few Junior A hockey teams in Eastern Ontario to see any action at all this past season, although they were all exhibition games.
Nichols says with all the players have been through during this past year, they deserve a full slate of games.
“We’re doing a balanced schedule where we’ll play everybody five times, so that’s a 55-game schedule,” Nichols said. “And we have a showcase event over Thanksgiving in which we’ll play three of those games.
The league is set to get the season underway in September and full schedule details will be announced in the next few weeks.