Hockey season is fast approaching the province, yet with no answers given by the Saskatchewan Health Authority or Health Canada, many teams are left in limbo waiting to find out if they need to sharpen their skates to hit the ice or not.
The Big Six Hockey League is a senior men' hockey league that was formed at a small meeting in a garage in Oxbow in December 1959. Originally the league began with five teams, the Bienfait Coalers, Frobisher Flyers, Glen Ewen Eagles, Oxbow Aces and Estevan Miners.
Currently there are 9 teams confirmed. Those teams include, the Carlyle Cougars, Redvers Rockets, Wawota Flyers, Arcola-Kisbey Combines, Carnduff Red Devils, Yellow Grass Wheat Kings, Midale Mustangs and and Kipling/Windthorst Oil Kings. All these teams are looking forward to the season but with COVID-19 nothing is guaranteed.
Rae Wright, president of the Big Six Hockey League, said that he had a Zoom meeting with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association a couple weeks ago but nothing has been confirmed or denied.
“So much is still up in the air with the whole COVID thing. All we are able to do is listen to Health Canada and Sask Health to find out when we can start playing,” Wright said.
Wright goes on to say that the league is not even sure if the season is a go or not. There are rumours that perhaps by Dec. 1 players may be able to hit the ice but that has not been confirmed and it could change at any time.
“Nothing is cut and dry, lots of talk, one being definitely no tournaments this year. No exhibition games outside of the league. We aren't even sure how many people are allowed in the rinks for fans,” Wright explains.
Wright also states that there is talk of only 50 people in a building, with two teams and coaches and refs, that about maxes out that 50-person limit. If that is the case some coaches are even talking they may not ice teams because it is not worth the costs.
“Even if we got the season started COVID-19 could shut us down at any time,” Wright said. “If things stay calm with COVID hopefully we can get on the ice for December. But it is all in the hands of Health Canada.”
With so many unknowns it has people wondering what their kids are going to be doing this winter as it is much harder to find things to do in the winter than the summer. Wright says he will let the public know if anything further is discussed but as it stands currently, things are still undecided on what this year’s hockey season looks like.