The league had originally delayed the 2020-2021 OHL season opener to Feb. 4, 2021, with players reporting to camp in January. But with a province-wide shutdown ordered for December 26, 2020 and the continue closure of the border between Canada and the United States–there are three U.S. teams in the OHL–the decision was made to delay things.
“The safety of all of our stakeholders and communities is our priority and we are committed to starting the 2020-21 season when it is safe to do so,” Branch wrote in a statement. “We know that this is difficult news for many of our players, fans, billets, parents, staff and teams. However, the restrictions both provincially in Ontario as well as nationally with regards to cross-border travel have informed our decision.”
Things are on hold as well in the junior-hockey WHL, which similarly canceled a Jan. 8 start date and announced no definite plays for 2020-2021 seasonal play. Meanwhile, the AHL is looking at a February launch date, while some ECHL teams are playing.