Sting, Legionnaires’ seasons delayed again

Progressive Auto Sales Arena lead hand Mike Stewart sanitizes the Sarnia Sting bench with an e-sprayer on Oct. 20. The league announced plans Wednesday to again delay the start of the 2021 season due to COVID-19. Troy Shantz

Hockey in Sarnia has been delayed again due to COVID-19.

The Ontario Hockey League announced today that the 2021 season will be put on hold following  Premier Ford’s announcement of a province-wide shut down in the province beginning Boxing Day.

The OHL season was scheduled to begin Feb. 4, with training camps kicking off in January.

“We know this is news none of us wanted to hear,” said Sting manager Dylan Seca. “We wish for nothing more than to be able to return to the game we love and share this passion with our amazing fans. However, we understand and support this decision made by (OHL) commissioner (David) Branch.”

The restrictions in Ontario as well as nationally regarding cross-border travel informed the decision, the league announced Wednesday.

The league will continue to consult with the government and health authorities to determine potential alternative start dates in the new year, they said.

The league that the Sarnia Legionnaires are a member of announced plans to delay its season on Tuesday. 

“Our priority is to exhaust all options in order to have some form of a season. We are doing everything we can to get our players, teams and league through development and gameplay to a safe return to ice,” Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League commissioner Mark Tuck said. 

In November the league received approval for modified 5-on-5 play. The start date was tentatively planned for mid January based on Public Health approval.