Activities in Quebec territory of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (LHJMQ) will resume this weekend after about three weeks of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. If formations operating outside the red zones will be given the green light, this is not yet the case for those which are there.
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The Val-d’Or Foreurs and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies will play a round-trip series on Friday and Saturday. The Rimouski Oceanic and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar (orange zone) will also cross swords at the Drakkar’s home during the same two days.
However, the QMJHL will meet with public health officials on Thursday to propose a return to play plan for teams based in the red zone.
“We are going to strengthen what we have as excellent medical and health return-to-play protocols,” QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said on Thursday morning during the “Salut Bonjour” program on TVA. We will carry out weekly tests for our teams in the red zone in order to have even closer monitoring for this purpose. We may also have another option to present on which we still have details to work on before the meeting with Public Health. “
However, an increase in drug testing will certainly mean a higher bill for teams. Each test costs around $ 200.
“These are significant costs, and including everyone, it would be a minimum of $ 6,000 per week. We are not there, “said Quebec Remparts head coach Patrick Roy the day before.
“This is a situation on which we must work with the teams, considering what can be and what cannot be done at the level of public health”, simply replied the Commissioner.
For their part, the Ontario Hockey League and that of the West hope to resume their activities at the beginning of February 2021, in particular because of the American formations which are part of these leagues.