It doesn't confirm that hockey will be back in September; however, it's a step in the right direction.

Hockey Canada has lifted its ban on sanctioned activities and now, they're leaving it up to the country's 13 member organizations to determine when it's safe to return to action. Hockey Manitoba is one of the members and under that umbrella is the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. 

Kevin Saurette is the Director of Operations for the MJHL and he says this is certainly positive news.

"It's exciting, but I still believe there is still aways to go," said Saurette. "Any positive news in the hockey world right now is exciting."

Saurette says the MJHL is planning to start the 2020-2021 season in late September, as it does every season. He adds that the league is working very hard behind the scenes to put protocols together. 

At the end of the day, Dr. Brent Roussin will have to give the go-ahead for the MJHL to get going alongside other hockey leagues in the province. Hockey Canada originally cancelled all activities under its banner on March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hockey Canada also said certain regions of the country are further along with plans to reopen; however, they didn't provide any more details. 

"This is a very important first step on our way back to sanctioned hockey activity," added Saurette. "We will continue with the process of returning to play, but this is absolutely a big first step to achieving that."

The MJHL is set to hold its Annual General Meeting later this month and more information will likely be provided at this time.

In other news, the league is less than a month away from a change at the helm. After spending four seasons in his current position, Saurette will become the Commissioner as he's set to take over for Kim Davis who is retiring.

Saurette adds that it's a different time, but he's very much looking forward to July 1.

"I don't think I scripted it this way to walk into this role with the MJHL, but I'm really excited to take the next step," concluded Saurette. "It's been in the making behind the scenes for a couple of years now, so it's exciting that I'll make the change in less than a month."