SJHL to get $1M in pandemic funding, province won't consider return to ice for at least 4 weeks

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League will be receiving $1 million from the provincial government to help them and their teams survive the pandemic.

“The SJHL (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League), which consists of community-owned teams, has been in a state of uncertainty due to COVID-19 during the past several months,” said Bill Chow, the league’s president. “The financial support that has been provided by the Saskatchewan government creates a more positive outlook for our teams.”

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“Our junior hockey teams are a critical part of the cultural fabric and local economies across the province,” said Jeremy Harrison, the trade minister. “Necessary restrictions due to COVID-19 have had a significant impact on these leagues and their teams and this support will help them address these financial challenges.”

Hockey games within the league, which includes the Humboldt Broncos, Melfort Mustangs and Nipawin Hawks, have been suspended since Nov. 27 due to provincial health restrictions. A release from the league said the province will not be considering a return to the ice for games for at least four weeks.

“The SJHL has formed a committee to determine options for our return to play and determine the best scenario for all concerned,” Chow said. “Our initial focus is to have our players return to their SJHL communities to continue their training and hockey development as soon as possible.”

In a media release, the province said government officials continue to work with the SJHL and other leagues on options for a safe return to play in the future.

The Western Hockey League is also receiving funding. As for the Saskatchewan Male U18 AAA Hockey League, which is the league the Tisdale Trojans play in, and the Prairie Junior Hockey League, which the league the Carrot River Outback Thunder play in, the Ministry of Trade and Export Development said in an email that they would not be getting any funding.

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