Kieran Craig reflects on QMJHL hiatus

Alexandria’s Kieran Craig is back home with his family now, as COVID-19 concerns have forced a pause in the QMJHL season.

The 19-year-old forward is in his second campaign with the Gatineau Olympiques. At the stoppage in play, Craig had 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 64 games. Among his tallies, he’s notched 6 game-winning goals.

While he’s having a great season, his team is mired in the basement of the Western Conference, on a record of 22 wins, 37 regulation time losses, and 5 overtime defeats. The Olympiques had four regular-season games remaining in their schedule.

On the season disruption, Craig tells me, “we are pretty much staying home and trying to be safe. What I’ve been told is that the team will update us as soon as they have heard something regarding our season.”

Gatineau’s last game, on March 8, went into the books as a 5-4 shootout win over Blainville-Boisbriand. Craig contributed 2 assists and notched the shootout winner.

The official notice of suspension of league play came down March 12 from the Canadian Hockey League, the body that oversees major junior hockey in Canada.

“The Canadian Hockey League and its three regional leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League, take the health and safety of our players, fans, volunteers, staff, and general public very seriously. CHL President Dan MacKenzie with Commissioners David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison have been monitoring the situation in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) including what local, provincial, and federal health agencies have recommended. Following consultation with medical professionals and meetings today among the CHL Executive Council, and regional league Board of Governors, the CHL announces that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey activity shall be paused immediately until further notice.”

CHL statement
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