Flint Firebirds Announce ‘Return to Play’ Plan
The Flint Firebirds, along with the rest of the Ontario Hockey League, will be returning to the ice on December 1st.
In a statement posted to their website Wednesday, the Firebirds announced the 'Return to Play' plan set by the OHL. The 2019-2020 season came to a end in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. The plan, of course, will be subject to the ongoing changes and developments taking place due to COVID-19.
The league, which is eager to get back to the game of playing hockey, stated they will be working carefully with government and health agencies when it comes to fan attendance and travel for teams between boarders.“
"We are looking forward to getting back to playing hockey, but are committed to ensuring that we do so in a manner that is safe and healthy for our players, officials, families, billets, teams, staff, fans and the community,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “Players will remain at home until the season resumes and teams will work closely with them on both their academic studies and overseeing their on and off-ice development. In addition, the League will liaise with our facilities to ensure that our venues are safe for our return to play.”
In the plan, the season will have a 64-game schedule with a 16-team playoff format. The puck will drop to kick off the OHL season on December 1st and end on April 29, 2021. The OHL's 102nd Memorial Cup is then scheduled to be played June 17-27, 2021. the Memorial cup will be hosted by either the Oshawa Generals or Soo Greyhounds.
Jim Sutherland, Head of Corporate Partnerships for the Flint Firebirds said, "We are excited about returning to some sort of normal not just for our league, but for Genesee County. We're going to do everything we can to make it a fun and safe environment for everybody."
No word yet on when the first home puck will drop for the Flint Firebirds.