As of Monday, the QMJHL will count on seven teams on forced leave due to the pandemic, which does not prevent Patrick Roy or Kevin Cloutier from believing that the continuation of the season in the Courteau circuit is possible.
Cloutier’s team, the Victoriaville Tigres, will join the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (case and red zone), the Sherbrooke Phoenix (case), the Remparts de Québec, the Voltigeurs de Drummondville, the Olympiques de Gatineau (red zones) and the Moncton Wildcats (orange zone in New Brunswick) as teams in compulsory stoppage when the entire Center-du-Québec region officially enters the red zone, Friday at midnight.
The measures concerning schools and sports will not apply until Monday, however, so the Tigers should be able to play their match on Sunday against the Shawinigan Cataractes. The other, scheduled for Friday against the Remparts de Québec, remains in suspense since the Remparts are already in the red zone. The QMJHL is still awaiting responses from Public Health regarding their request to authorize matches for training in the red zone if the latter tighten the concept of the bubble. The Red Devils proposed the idea of retiring to a hotel in Quebec City and confining themselves there, only moving from this one to the arena.
An answer should come in the next few days. If this proposal is rejected, some fear that the QMJHL will put its season on a hiatus while the situation, especially in Quebec, improves.
“We remain encouraged and we manage the situation on a day-to-day basis,” said Cloutier, general manager of the Tigers. In the MLB, if we remember correctly, there were also game cancellations at the start of the season, but all the clubs have completed their seasons. “
The case of the Armada
One thing is certain, the outbreaks in the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and the Sherbrooke Phoenix in recent weeks do not help the cause of the QMJHL in its negotiations with Public Health.
Patrick Roy does not say he is worried, however.
“It doesn’t worry me because it comes from targeted situations. Is it a surprise to know that when it enters a room, it is devastating, that it is transmitted and that many catch it? I have a group of friends who were 15 at a supper and 11 grabbed it. You don’t want it to come in and we must do everything in our power to ensure that it doesn’t. Here, we are very strict on our measures. “
The latter said he was confident that the league’s activities will not have to be suspended and that the drop in cases observed in recent days is an omen that we are heading in the right direction.
“I hope that if it continues like this, we will be able to start over. We’re all in this together. No one in the region is happy to see us in red and we all want to come back to where we were this summer. “