By Doug Kennedy
Kincardine’s Kevin Pollock took a nasty shot to the face on Saturday afternoon during a playoff game between Carolina and Boston. He was moving towards the front of the net when a puck deflected off the crossbar and hit him directly in the face. It did not look good. Pollock is a 21-year veteran and one of the top referees in the NHL. He had refereed game five between Columbus and Toronto in the play-in round. Brian Burke gave him a nice compliment before that game. Burke said Pollock and the other referee would let the teams play without a lot of silly penalties being called. It looked like Pollock was going to again get a chance to work deep into playoffs until this unfortunate accident happened .I am working on a story about his career to run in the next couple of weeks.
A lot of junior leagues across Canada are announcing December 1 as the start date for this season. As we all have learned over the last few months, nothing is written in stone these days. They are being proactive to try to help teams and leagues get organized for what might happen.
The three junior teams under the OHA umbrella are working together on a couple of plans for this season. One has a start date December 1 and another with a start date of January 1. The PJHL,GOHL and OJHL have proposed a thirty per cent capacity in each arena to keep people safe. These are ideas that the committee are talking about. It will have to be voted on by the membership to go forward. It will be interesting to see where we are in three months. Doug Ford says he wants to see kids back on the ice. In my opinion, if they open up bars, especially in the city, hockey will probably lose out because of the spikes in Covid-19. How things go with back to school safety will dictate how much hockey and if any other sports are played.
A lot of junior teams across Canada have already started training camps. It seems like there is a lot of fighting about what rules to go by. Hockey Canada is leaving it to each province and region, which can vary a lot from a city to a small town. The OHF is pushing leagues to play three on three and focus more on skill development this winter. Tough decisions ahead for a lot of organizations in how to organize kids to get them playing. My opinion has always been the same my whole life, “It has to be fun!”
Talk about going from no sports to having baseball, hockey, basketball and golf on television at the same time. It has been a nice thing to happen for a lot of people around the world. The bubble idea for hockey and basketball seems to be working, with no Covid cases since they went to this. I am sure it drives NHL commissioner Gary Bettman crazy to have to bring all NHL playoff games to Canada. To have three Canadian teams still in is nice to see. Quebec City has an NHL arena ready to go. Hopefully Canada gets one more team in the next few years.
I understand that some U.S. college division one football leagues have cancelled their season until the spring. Let’s hope they get back to playing, because if not, a lot of other school sports teams will be cancelled. They rely on the income brought in by these football teams.
Baseball is having problems with Covid with teams like St.Louis having only played eight games as of last weekend, with other teams playing up to 20 games. One thing for sure is they are going to finish the season because of the one billion dollars they take in for the playoff rights for television.
Kincardine Bulldogs are having a golf tournament at Ainsdale this Friday, with tee off times between 3 – 5 p.m. There are still some spots left, just call the golf course to book. Nine holes, meal, cart and prize for $75 a person.