The COVID-19 pandemic continues to touch virtually every aspect of our society. This past week its disruptive reach extended to youth hockey in the Greater Toronto Area. The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), which is the largest minor hockey organization in the world with 2,800 teams and 40,000 players, announced that it’s suspending games and practices for the rest of 2020.
League officials hold out hope that its season may be able to resume in January but, of course, that’s mostly supposition at this stage. The threat to the full season is certainly plausible. It may seem like a small development in the grand scheme of things, but it could have profound effects on our communities, households and kids.
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It’s impossible not to sympathize with the hockey players and their families. I can only imagine how they feel. I played different levels of hockey from ages six to 18. I was crazy about it. I had a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Eric Lindros in my bedroom for longer than I’d like to admit.