No Body Checking in OHL, Will WHL–Ams Follow Suit?
We were tipped off to this by a big Americans fan who saw a story out of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). They're part of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) along with the Quebec Major Junior and our own Western Hockey League (including the Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs.)
According to league officials, when the OHL resumes play on February 4, there will be no body checking allowed. Lisa MacLeod, the Ontario Minister of Sport, confirmed that to media on Friday, Oct. 30.
The "purposeful" removal of physical contact from the came is a result of COVID-19, she said. Incidental contact will occur, but no intentional 'rooting' or shoving players away from the puck or physical play will be allowed. Body checks are one of the most riveting reasons fans go to hockey, especially in the WHL; where a more physical style of play tends to occur.
The WHL and Tri-City Americans plan to return on January 8, but no word if this idea will filter over. No word yet on the status of fans in Toyota Center or not. We will continue to monitor the situation.
A check on Friday of the WHL website showed no such information or any type of updates on styles of play upon return.