Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia QMJHL teams prepare for possible fall season

While Quebec's provincial government has approved plans for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's upcoming season, those plans have yet to be approved by provincial governments in the Maritimes.

Quebec approved plans for the league, but Maritime provinces have yet to approve plans

Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Justin Barron in a 2020 file photo. (David Chan/Halifax Mooseheads)

While Quebec's provincial government has approved plans for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's upcoming season, those plans have yet to be approved by provincial governments in the Maritimes.

The 18-team league has three teams in New Brunswick, two in Nova Scotia and one in P.E.I.

Gerard Shaw, president of the Cape Breton Eagles, said his team is looking at a 60-game season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The league usually plays a 68-game season.

Quebec-based teams have been approved by their government to allow season ticket holders to attend games, but no decision has been made by the Maritime provinces.

Under that proposal, no one else would be allowed to attend games.

"Season ticket holders have a piece of gold in their hand in our mind," said Shaw.

Bubble divisions

Another proposed plan for the league would be for teams to only play teams in their division.

The league has three six-team divisions, one of which is the Maritimes Division.

"Our division is going to be very competitive and it could create some interesting rivalries and that's what we're excited for," said Shaw.

Scott MacIntosh, a spokesperson for the Halifax Mooseheads, agreed.

"Some of our greatest rivalries and some of the QMJHL's most exciting players are within our division and we look forward to being able to resume action against those five teams," he said by email.

The Mooseheads have not said anything about fan attendance until there is a further consultation between the league, province and venues.

Smaller training camps

For safety reasons, the teams will also have fewer players in training camp.

A maximum of 34 players will be invited. Typically, over 60 players attend camp.

The league is aiming for Aug. 26 as a starting date for training camp and the start of October to begin the regular season.

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