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Pandemic uncertainty shifts local hockey discussions to 2022 season

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

SCUGOG: The ongoing COVID-19 lockdown appears to have shifted the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s (PJHL) focus to the future, instead of the present.

There has been no announcement yet, on the fate of local junior hockey, since the PJHL announced, on December 1st, an early February target date for return to play. However, Scugog and Uxbridge townships have already removed the ice surfaces from their arenas.

“While there has not been an official announcement of the cancellation of the 2020-21 PJHL season, the internal league conversations have shifted focus to the 2021-22 season. The hope is the 2021-22 season will start on time, but of course that depends on where the pandemic is by that time,” Port Perry MoJacks general manager Tom Parish told The Standard, in an email. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of this year, the PJHL is amending some rules for team rosters for the 2022 season.

“For the 2021-22 season, PJHL teams will be permitted to bring back their 1999 born players, maximum of four per team, as well as four 2000 born players per team. No PJHL team will be permitted to sign a 2005 born player for the 2021-22 season. February 1st, 2021 was the deadline for PJHL teams to acquire 2000 born drop down players from higher levels, in order for them to be eligible to play in the PJHL for 2021-22. Teams which have more than four 2000 born players may trade their extra players to teams which have less than four,” Mr. Parish’s email explained.

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