Give credit where it deserves: The owners of the Ontario Hockey League stepped up this week. The board of directors of the major youth tour held a meeting on Wednesday morning, which led the league to reiterate its commitment to this season in the face of a new provincial pandemic order, which will severely limit the team’s ability to make money now.
This of course happened after last year’s knockout. When OHL could not get approval from the provincial government, this season was finally cancelled, making it the only league in CHL that did not participate in some schedules: WHL played 24 games for its team. Competition, and QMJHL won the playoffs in Victoriaville. Therefore, the only provincial government that cannot take action is Ontario.
It goes without saying that like many companies today, the OHL team took a hit last year, and the first half of the season became a much-needed oasis for fans to return to the stands-despite the reduced capacity (so this is something, But it is certainly not normal in the past).
As of now, fans in Ontario will not be able to enter the stadiums until January 26 at the earliest, and given the popularity of the Omicron variant in the province, we cannot assume that everything will be fine by then. Therefore, in the foreseeable future, the only team that can earn ticket revenue is the league’s three American teams: the Flint Firebirds, the Saginaw Spirits and the Erie Otters. Neither Michigan nor Pennsylvania currently has an arena capacity limit.
Yesterday I happened to have a phone call with the NHL scout, and he pointed out how impressive the team owner’s decision left him: They want the kids to have a season and they put their players before the money.
Now, it is fair to point out that CHL has been disputed over money and players in the past: In 2020, the three leagues under CHL settled class-action lawsuits in this area for $30 million. However, when the owners do the right thing, it is fair to give them honor.
The lack of a season last year has had a major impact on the development of OHLers and scouts. This year there is also a trickle effect: scouts always pay attention to underage players to obtain initial books about them, but this season’s NHL draft course is deprived of This opportunity. So now, scouts are catching up.
“According to the current situation, any book we used to do this work has been eliminated,” said an NHL scout. “When you go to a game now, you will see almost duo players. You have to make very important decisions about a group.”
Due to the team’s outbreak, this year’s game was postponed, and the scouts were forced to change their travel plans to catch up with the game as much as possible. Therefore, in addition to catching up from last year, they must also ensure that they enter all ratings for this season in an unpredictable schedule.
Everyone knows OHL’s number one prospect, Kingston’s Shane Wright, because he is expected to be number one in the 2022 NHL draft. Due to his special status, Wright entered the OHL one year early, which means that he participated in the league in the 2019-20 season (and he won the CHL rookie of the year honor). But for other potential NHL first-round players, such as North Bay’s Ty Nelson, Guelph’s Matthew Poitras, and Saginaw’s Pavel Mintyukov, this is technically their rookie OHL campaign, if The OHL and its owners decide to shorten the season and the pressure will be greater. Oh, for any player who tries to prove his development value to the NHL team, the pressure will also be greater, whether he has been selected or is trying to become free Players.
If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is that predicting the future is a stupid game. But in the short term, the OHL bosses did make an effort for their players, confirming their commitment to advance the season.