First, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
It goes without saying that for each and every one of us, 2020 has been a year like no other. This hockey season is no different as we expected some obstacles along the way.
The QMJHL is the only League in the Canadian Hockey League to start their season thus far and the Sea Dogs are one of only six teams (all six are here in the Maritimes) that has welcomed fans to their games. To date, we have been able to do this safely and for that, a big thank you is owed to you, our fans for being so vigilant and respectful at TD Station. Thank you!
As you have likely seen, the QMJHL is taking a longer than usual pause for the holidays. We would typically break later in December.
With the recent changes in our region in regards to the pandemic, and taking into consideration the mental health of our young players, this is absolutely the right thing to do.
This longer pause gives our young men a chance to return home to their loved ones for the holidays. The majority of them have not seen their families since the beginning of August. It also allows enough time to respect all proper provincial quarantine guidelines when travelling to their families and for when they return to their second home here in Saint John.
At this point in time, we are planning to kick off the second half of the season in late January.
For some of you wondering about the possibility of less home games, please don’t worry about that. The schedule was built with room to add games in the second half and to extend the regular season. If at the end of the season, we played less than the 30 home games expected, we will happily do what is right and refund you for any games that we weren’t able to fit in. Some of you may even want to use the savings for the playoffs (the format is being worked on by the League now).
Let’s be clear – if we end up playing less games, you won’t be out of pocket.
Hockey is important and a welcome distraction during these times and we appreciate the outpouring of kindness and messages from our fans. We will be back soon enough. However, now is a time for all of us to focus on family, friends, and loved ones.
Please have a merry Christmas and joyous holidays. We look forward to seeing you back at TD Station in the New Year.
Take good care,
President & General Manager
Saint John Sea Dogs