QMJHL says it will begin play Oct. 1, 2 months ahead of other junior leagues

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced Friday it is planning to return to play on Oct. 1.

Western and Ontario leagues have delayed start until December

The 2019 Memorial Cup champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the rest of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are scheduled to start their season Oct. 1. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced Friday it is planning to return to play on Oct. 1.

In a statement, the league said it consulted with both provincial government and public health agencies and determined games would be played without fans in Quebec, and details are still being worked out for teams in the Maritime provinces.

"Over the past several weeks, the league has had continued dialogue with government officials and public health agencies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec to propose a plan in line with public health directives and guidelines," the league said in its statement.

The Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League previously announced they would delay the start of their seasons until December from their traditional September start dates.

Training camps will open on August 30th and teams will be limited to 34 invitees. The regular season will include a 60-game schedule and the League will be divided into three divisions. All regular season games will be played within six-team divisions while the playoff format will be announced later in December.

The Memorial Cup, a tournament featuring the championship team from all three leagues plus a host team, is scheduled to be played June 17-27, 2021 and will be hosted by either the OHL's Oshawa Generals or Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

The WHL said it is committed to playing a full regular season of 68 games, followed by four rounds of playoffs. The OHL says it hopes to play a 64-game season, four fewer games than usual.

with files from Canadian Press

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