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Is there any hope for short OHL season?

Could top Battalion prospects play on a Division-style all-star team to get in some action in 2020-21?
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2021 draft eligible forward Liam Arnsby one of the many OHLers who is yet to play a game in 2020-21. Photo courtesy Tom Martineau/BayToday.

Well, the time is running out for the Ontario Hockey League to get any form of a shortened season in. 

With the Stay-At-Home Order in place, a short season could not begin in Ontario until the end of April.  

But at this point does a short season even make sense when both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League have already completed their respective regular seasons?  

The Canadian Hockey League just announced on Tuesday that it is cancelling the Memorial Cup for the second straight year.  

See related: Memorial Cup Cancelled

A few lucky OHLers have been able to play games this season. For the Battalion, Brandon Coe, who was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft last fall, has been able to play games with the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate the San Jose Barracuda, Mason Primeau is playing with the Vegas Golden Knights AHL affiliate in Henderson, Nevada. Luke Moncada has been able to get into games with the AHL's Cleveland Monsters where he was reunited with former Battalion star Matthew Struthers.  

North Bay's own Ben Gaudreau hopes to get into his first meaningful game within a year as a member of Team Canada's Under-18 team which is competing in the World Under-18 Championships in Dallas, Texas at the end of the month. 

See related: Ben Gaudreau named to Team Canada's U-18 program

While the OHL and the province have grappled over ways to make a season happen - including potentially operating out of hub cities - perhaps now the only way to approach any form of hockey before the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, is to create one bubble location and have four division all-star teams filled with draft-eligible players.  

So from the Battalion perspective, that would mean some top Battalion players including players like Liam Arnsby, Joe Vrbetic, the Christopoulos twins and and possibly Avery Winslow, to name a few who could assemble on a Central Division All-Star squad with eligible players from the Niagara IceDogs, Sudbury Wolves, Mississauga Steelheads, and Barrie Colts. 

This option is a lot less work and would allow these players to play maybe just simply in a round-robin tournament. 

As long as it could be safe, It would be a small sample size for scouts to watch the OHL's best, but honestly, it would be better than what they have now.  




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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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