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OHL's return won't happen with bodychecking or other physical contact: MacLeod

The league has been targeting a December return
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File photo by Mark Pare/KitchenerToday

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."




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