COVID restrictions and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association.

Dr. Saqib Shahab attending a press conference. Discover Moose Jaw

The new restriction date put in place will have little effect on the SHA.

With the Government of Saskatchewan extending COVID restrictions until March 19th, the sports world continues to wait patiently until things get the all clear to move forward. Until that time arrives, cancellations continue to hold up across the province through various organizations (such as the Regina High School Sports Association).           

For Kelly McClintock, General Manager of the SHA (Saskatchewan Hockey Association), this extended restriction date changes little with regards to how the SHA will operate in the coming weeks.

“The Government of Saskatchewan Business Response Team”, said McClintock. “Roughly six weeks ago notified all sports in the province that competition would not be likely until after March 31 at the earliest. But the individual training with eight athletes in a group could continue.”

With that said, even if sports operations were to resume within the province, McClintock feels that the possibility for a salvaged SHA season is closer to concluding, as opposed to starting.

“The opportunity to play games,” said McClintock, “within the winter hockey season that, normally, ceases at the end of March does not look favorable and the SHA has been aware of this for some time.”

While this may come as disheartening news to local hockey fans, it is equally as disheartening to the players that continue to put the work in despite the minimal payoff.

“It is difficult for all hockey players to continue to train,” said McClintock. “But not have the opportunity to transfer that training into a competitive environment of a game.”

With things looking the way they do, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association will continue on as they have throughout the pandemic.

For fans of the game looking to at least take in some hockey viewing during the pandemic, the NHL is currently running at full steam. At the time of writing, the North Division (which features all Canadian NHL teams), has seen a surge in popularity with the current winning ways of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Excluding a nasty loss to Ottawa where Toronto dropped a 4 goal lead to lose 6-5 in overtime, the Leafs have 30 points overall, putting them comfortably above the 22-point Edmonton Oilers.

As well, for fans of the more local hockey circuit, the WHL’s announcement about the upcoming season on top of the news of Regina being the hub city for the East Division has piqued more than a few folks’ interest. Time will tell how the season will unfold, but it’s still interesting to see everything pan out.

Overall, despite no massive changes occurring within the world of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, it is still good to know where things stand. It’s also beneficial to know that there are other avenues that fans can take if they so choose.

It’s also worth noting that, when things do change, it will likely not be overnight. So let’s remember to continue to take care of those around us by listening to the Saskatchewan Health Authority and following the rules and regulations that are in place. 

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