Prince Albert Minor Hockey preparing for 2020-21 season

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Minor Hockey technical director James Mays speaks during the organization’s annual general meeting at Midtown Hall on Monday night.

If all goes according to plan, the Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association will begin the year at their normal date.

During their annual general meeting at Midtown Hall on Monday evening, technical director James Mays said that following discussions with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, PA Minor Hockey will be starting the tryout process for the 2020-21 campaign on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

“We’ve been given the go-ahead to start when we were normally would,” Mays said. “We already know that the ice is going in at the Art Hauser Centre soon and as far as I know, the other community rinks are looking to be up and running as soon as possible.

“We’re still planning on giving the kids the same amount of ice time as they would have had in a normal year, and we’re very optimistic that we will start on time. However, if things go sideways and the season gets cancelled or shortened (due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) we will give refunds up to the full amount.”

Mays also said that the Saskatchewan Hockey Association has been promised definitive guidelines in the next couple of weeks from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the provincial government on the number of people that can be in a rink, how much time needs to spaced out for practices and other regulations.

“If we can have 100 people in the Kinsmen Arena, we’re fine,” Mays said. “During our two sets of evaluations and most of our minor hockey games, we’re lucky to have 100 people in there anyway.

“I think minor hockey is in better shape than organizations like the SJHL (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) or the WHL (Western Hockey League), where they need to have people in the building.”

When it comes to provincial leagues such as the Saskatchewan Male and Female Under-18 AAA Hockey Leagues, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association has proposed start dates of Oct. 15 and Nov. 1 for their seasons.

“Something that you might see if they start on Oct. 15 is a restriction on the travel for those province-wide leagues,” Mays said. “There could be a scenario where all of the teams in the north will play each other before Christmas and then have their southern road swings afterward.”

The Saskatchewan Hockey Association has also said that no tournaments can be held until after Christmas.

AGM Notes

Prince Albert Minor Hockey also handed out some hardware during their annual general meeting, with graduating midget player Landon Leschyshyn receiving the Max Clunie Memorial Award, which goes to a player that has a love of hockey, a determination to succeed, a focus and fearlessness on the ice and shows team leadership,

Tanis Blanchard took home the manager award and Trevor Klassen received the president award.

This year’s coaches awards went to the following recipients:

  • IP: Chris Bradbury (IP B Green Raiders)
  • Novice: Lee Reilly (Novice C Blackhawks)
  • Atom: Cody Phaneuf (AtoMc B Renegades)
  • Peewee: Brenden Wawro (Peewee Beachcomber Foxes)
  • Bantam: Steve Young (Bantam AA Lehner Electric Foxes)
  • Midget: Jim Flynn (Midget AA Lehner Electric Foxes)

Monday’s meeting also saw vice president Brad Rock return for a two-year term.

Luc Robin, Jay Zablocki and Carey Lehner were also reelected to the board of directors for a two-year term.

Meanwhile, Frank Fazio and Brenden Wawro will be joining the board of directors as they will be replacing Marc Malenfant and Trevor Klassen, who both stepped down.