The pandemic has
impacted us all in many different ways, as we entered 2021 under lockdown,
exhaustion seems to have really set in.
Members of the Eagles hockey community all share the disappointment of
the loss of a normal hockey season. Our
organization, volunteers, participants and their families have done a fantastic
job so far in following all the return to play guidelines and keeping everyone
involved safe. We are all frustrated that
we are off the ice with no specific return date.
The Eagles organization continues to operate under a Strategic Plan based on optimism. In particular, the hockey committee, along with Corey Locke, Director of Player and Coach Development and Kyle Mundel, Manager of Hockey Operations, are maintaining readiness to return to the ice the second we get the green light from Public Health and the City of Burlington. On Tuesday evening we participated in a virtual meeting with the Executive Director of the OHF focusing on maximizing the remainder of the current season right up until March 31, discussing a possible extension of this season to the end of May and laying out the framework for 2021/2022.
Current Season up to March 31
We have been off the ice now for over 3 weeks and in a best-case scenario we won’t get back on until at least February 11. When we do return, like we have done throughout this year, we will maximize allowable activity. Hopefully red zone is short lived and we get to orange and play some games. Who would have guessed a year ago that there would have been so much enthusiasm for our inter-squad games that we were able to play for a weekend back in November !
It is clear now that there will be an unspent portion of registration fees and therefore there will be a refund at the end of the season. We will perform an accounting review immediately following March 31 to determine that refund amount. A refund check will be sent out in April provided that your registration fee has been paid in full.
Season Extension April 1 to May 31
We have reviewed a plan with the OHF for a season extension for two additional months of sanctioned programming to the end of May. The extension will be subject to Public Health returning to at least Zone Orange ( allowing games ). This programming will be mandatory for U16 AAA and U18 AAA, it will be optional for U11 to U15 all levels and U16 and U18 A and AA. At this point the OHF has made it clear that for U10 and below the season will end on March 31 with no extension. We will continue to work on this option with the OHF, OMHA, other organizations in our regions and the City of Burlington. Watch the website for more information, as it becomes available, about this exciting possibility !
Current Framework for the 2021/2022 Season
As a result of COVID 19 and the potential extension of this season into May, we have been advised by the OHF that tryouts for next season will be scheduled differently as compared to previous years. In our recent meeting with the OHF it was made clear that tryouts for the 2021/2022 season for all teams in all leagues throughout the province will take place in September. There will be no spring tryouts this year. This will apply to all age categories and levels of play. The OHF has requested input regarding further changes to next season’s framework from all hockey organizations in the province. Our hockey committee has already begun working on our submission. The OHF has indicated that they will consider all the input and provide a detailed framework for review by Feb. 23. Please watch the website for updates at the end of February.
The Board and the hockey committee remain focused on making this season as successful as possible, planning on the possibility and scope of a season extension and also planning the 2021/2022 season under much better but still different circumstances. Our Director of Player and Coach Development, Corey Locke will begin shortly the recruitment process for next season’s coaches.
Once again, I want to express my gratitude to all of our volunteers, coaches, assistant coaches, trainers and convenors. The most memorable part of this season for me will be the tireless dedication of this group in providing the best possible experience for our players in this crazy year without the excitement of games. Thank you to everyone who has messaged or emailed their support and understanding that the organization has been facing and overcoming challenges one after another all year. For those that have expressed their frustration, I do understand and urge you to stick with us as we navigate the last half of the 2020/2021 season.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive !