Quebec league on thin ice after most teams asked to stop play because of COVID-19
Friday night would normally be a busy one in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but Friday night, there are only two games.
All Quebec-based teams -- two-thirds of the league -- have had their games cancelled until Oct. 28, and the Moncton Wildcats, whose home city is in an Orange zone, are not playing this weekend either.
"I wish they would have thought this through, instead of rushing," says Paul MacDonald, the manager of Centre 200, the home of the Cape Breton Eagles, says these are problems everyone should have seen coming.
While five Maritime teams are currently playing within their own Atlantic bubble, he says the current situation is hard on his rink's bottom line.
"Although the maritime teams, at least five of them, are continuing to play, it's just not a good situation," MacDonald says.
Brian Urquhart, the president of the Halifax Mooseheads, says the team feels fortunate to be able to play and have some fans in the building.
Only 1,900 fans are allowed inside their 10,000-seat arena.
The president of the Mooseheads says while those numbers don't make good financial sense, it's been worth it for the players, corporate partners, and the fans.
"There's really no business model with 1,900 people in the building, to be honest," Urquhart said. "You know, we're making the best of a challenging situation."
Cape Breton fan Brent Desveaux agrees.
"Oh, definitely worth it," he said. "I mean, it's an adjustment. We live in a new world, right?"
Desveaux is still crossing his fingers, but says he wouldn't be surprised if the whole league were to shut down -- at least temporarily.
"If we were to be affected like New Brunswick for example, probably a suspension of the season for a few weeks," he said.
The manager of Centre 200 says he'd prefer if the league were to simply press pause for the time being.
"It's tough to have five teams playing, or six teams playing, in one position, and then the other 11 or 12 off doing their own thing," MacDonald said.
The Q league said on Wednesday that the situation would be reassessed in two weeks.