ORONO – Canceled, postponed, suspended. Words that have become synonymous for most college sports conferences.
But not Hockey East, for now.
“I think that was a good sign for the league. There’s no promise of anything that’s going to happen but you know there is a sense that they’re going to be very creative and work as hard as they can to try to make something work,” Maine women’s hockey head coach, Richard Reichenbach, said.
Wednesday morning, Hockey East announced its intention to play in 2020 with a focus on finishing a conference schedule.
“The first priority is the heath and safety of our campus communities as well as our teams and our staffs,” Maine men’s hockey head coach, Red Gendron, said.
There are still plenty of unanswered questions involving testing, schedules and other concerns. Hockey East says it plans to address all concerns in the future, but will it be enough for the players.
“A number of the younger guys could jump to the Canadian junior leagues and play major junior or potentially could sign a pro contract and go play someplace. I think it’s important for our students to hear that we’re doing everything we can to play a season and for their family advisers and agents to hear that,” Maine Director of Athletics, Ken Ralph, said.
Ralph has said the likelihood of sports returning is stringent on improved testing, other treatments and/or a vaccine. But, for now the school is taking Wednesday’s optimistic news on a day-by-day approach.