Ontario's minister of sport says that the Ontario Hockey League will have to remove all physical contact, including bodychecking, if it's to have a 2020-21 season.
Lisa MacLeod, minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, spoke with media this afternoon.
MacLeod says that the OHL has submitted a proposal to her ministry targeting a return to play in early December.
She also says that a four-week pause on Ontario's reopening plan means that neither her ministry nor the OHL can do anything beyond negotiate.
MacLeod was clear, however, that a proposal from the OHL would not be accepted if it included anything but incidental body contact as the province tries to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Minor hockey associations in Ontario have a planned restart this month but without bodychecking, fighting, or faceoffs.
The OHL provided the following statement to 570 NEWS on Thursday in regards to MacLeod's comments:
"The OHL has been working with and continues to be in communication with various government ministries and public health agencies on our return to play plans. Conversations are ongoing and a decision has not yet been made in terms of a finalized return to play model."