Reported by Bob McIntyre
The puck is in the provincial government’s possession. What it does with it will determine whether there’s a 2020-21 season for the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The Cochrane Crunch belongs to the NOJHL.
League commissioner Robert Mazzuca says it has submitted its return to play protocol to its two governing bodies and the province. It’s the province that will determine whether fans will be allowed in the stands.
“Playing without fans is not an option for our league. “So if you’re told you can’t have fans in the rink, will you not go ahead with the season/” “That’s the decision made by our board. Yes, that’s correct.”
Mazzuca says gate receipts are among the most important revenue sources for the teams.
“We’ve submitted our return to play protocols to the NOHA (Northern Ontario Hockey Assoc.), OHF (Ontario Hockey Federation) and the government. And we’re waiting for final determination on if and when we can play under the conditions that we’ve requested.”
The decision on whether spectators are allowed – and how many – is the government’s.