The Manitoba Junior Hockey League has said it has plans to open the 2020-2021 regular season on Friday, September 25. While that is still the plan, for now, the league is still waiting to hear back from government officials who will either accept or decline the league's Return-to-Play plan.
Basically this means we'll either be seeing junior hockey in just more than a month or there could be a delay. Other junior leagues across Canada have announced delays including the British Columbia Hockey League who hope to begin their campaign on December 1.
Recently the Western Hockey League announced their plans to begin the new season on December 4. For general managers in the sport, not knowing a firm date makes things trickier. In the valley, Barry Wolff continues to patiently wait so that he can tell the Stampeders prospects and veterans when they can expect to report to camp.
"It's just hard when no one really knows what's happening," said Wolff. "Everyone is just hoping right now that we're on track. It's something that none of us have been through in the past, so I guess it's just a learning process throughout."
In other Stampeders news, the Club has always had a rich tradition of advancing players to the next level whether that be collegiately or even professionally and that was once again the case after the 2019-2020 season for a number of players including Tommy Cardinal.
Cardinal, from St-Etienne-de-Lauzon, QC, put up 52 points with the Stamps' last season, 22 of which were goals and he added another two goals and two assists in the playoffs. The former Stamp will now make the trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he looks to make the Tulsa Oilers of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). The 20-year-old was provided with a tryout contract for the upcoming season.
"I think any team wants a player that continues to develop and improve and Tommy has certainly done that over the years," offered Wolff. "He's a complete player. He can play physical and he can score goals. It's a great achievement for him and we're thrilled that he's going to get this opportunity."
Before joining Swan Valley, Cardinal spent time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Shawinigan Cataractes and Val-d'Or Foreurs. He also played 53 games with the Whitecourt Wolverines, a member of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Prior to getting the tryout contract with Tulsa, Cardinal signed with the Peoria Rivermen of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).