By Doug Kennedy
How hockey will look this fall is changing monthly. The Ontario Hockey Federation is going to release new rules this week about how many people can be in the arena and on the ice at once. In my opinion, municipalities will be playing minor hockey in their hometowns for the first few months. At that time, the Grey Bruce Health Unit will tell us if we can travel out-of-town to play other centres. It might be confined to just Grey Bruce for this season.
Junior hockey will have trouble playing without fans in the arena. I am hoping something might start by December first, but it will depend on Covid numbers. The PJHL will not likely play without fans in their buildings. Higher levels of junior hockey might but we will see. A lot of teams and leagues have tough decisions to make in the next few months.
The Kincardine Bulldogs are happy to announce that the complete coaching and management staff are back for the 2020-21 season. Todd Norman is back as the head coach and Russ Sutton and Blair Pollock are back as his assistants. Warren Beisel is back as general manager, assisted by Mike Hackett.
The Wingham Ironmen have added a couple of new assistant coaches, including Jordan Turcotte from Walkerton and ex-Ironmen Jamie Huber. They are filling the position left open now that Paul Tolton has stepped aside. Head coach Cory Hamilton is back, along with assistants Dawson Smith and Brett Brophy. Wayne Johnson is back as general manager with assistant Jamie McCallum.
Ryley Cribben of the Mount Forest Patriots won the PJHL Player of the year for this past season.
Local golf courses have probably benefited the most because of Covid-19. With kids and adults not being able to play baseball, soccer or most team sports, golf is a great option for families to take part in and be safe.
More professional sports will be back this week. Soccer and golf have been back for a few weeks and major league baseball starts this Thursday night, with two games on television. Sports fans will love to see live sports on television again, especially all those seniors across Canada who are big Blue Jays fans. They start on Friday night when they are in Tampa Bay for three games, then head to Washington for three games after that.
The Blue Jays still do not know where they are going to play their home games. The federal government turned them down regarding playing games during the season in Toronto. It looks like it might be Buffalo, which is their AAA team ball park. They need to select a home park by July 29.
Hockey will start in a couple weeks in Edmonton and Toronto. I am sure there are a lot of disappointed Americans upset about losing all these games to Canadian cities. It was probably hard on Gary Bettman to bring the games here. Watching how things are happening with Covid-19 in the United States, it was an easy decision.
Basketball looks like it will start next week, with all the games played in Orlando. It will be interesting to see how many players contact Covid and cannot play. Go Raptors. No one gives them a chance but they might surprise people. Let’s hope so.