What to do in the meantime?
That’s the question for many players and staff members across the Canadian Hockey League this week after last week’s announcement that the schedules of the three member leagues would be paused until further notice due to COVID-19.
With Thursday’s announcement, teams across the country find themselves in a state of limbo. In some cases, the announcement came as teams were on the road travelling to games when the news broke. The Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds were one of those teams.
En route to Kitchener to begin a two-game road trip when the announcement was made, the team turned around to head back to Sault Ste. Marie.
Many teams across the country have allowed their players to return home. For Greyhounds forward Cole MacKay, the uncertainty has been tough.
“It’s tough to grasp. It’s really unfortunate,” MacKay said over the weekend.
“There’s a league-wide disappointment and a lot of uncertainty. For all of the teams that were hopeful to go on a run and that goes for us too going on a run to make the playoffs, it’s pretty disappointing and kind of earth-shattering. It’s a tough situation for sure.”
MacKay said the uncertainty has also made working out tough. Not knowing if the season will resume or not changes the type of workout plan players have.
“The first day, I went back into the gym and to be totally honest, I didn’t know how to approach it because of the uncertainty,” MacKay said. “You can either work out and maintain for what could be the rest of the season of you can start getting at your summer training like you would normally (at the end of the season). It’s hard to know for sure. That makes this first week or so pretty confusing.”
MacKay also commented on how different life has been in the wake of COVID-19, saying he’s “watching the news a lot more than I usually would.”
Other than that, the third-year forward is doing the same thing many people are, just trying to stay healthy as the return to action for CHL teams seems to be further down the road than many people hope.