It may be summer, but some hockey players returned to the ice this month, including members of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ organization, which has been holding development sessions as league play remains uncertain.
Under current Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority restrictions, Eastern Ontario’s ‘AAA’ hockey league is allowing clubs to conduct “conditioning and development sessions throughout August [to conclude] with an invitation to 17-22 players per age group to form a bubble starting in September.”
According to the plan for the Eastern Ontario Wild club, “This bubble will then continue development until such time as HEO (and other authorities having jurisdiction) allow five-on-five traditional programming. The range of 17-22 participants is based on the maximum allowable on-ice participants in the various facilities in HEO territory. The E.O. Wild does not have the capacity to develop more players per level due to facility restrictions and availability of ice in the region.”
The objective of the bubble program will be to focus on continued development of players this fall until such time as regular game play is permitted.
The Wild ices teams at the major bantam (now officially being called U15), minor bantam (U14), and major peewee (U13). Coaches, respectively, are Carl Robillard, Chris Martin, and Dave Byrne. The club draws players from Cornwall, Akwesasne, Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, Cumberland, and Russell.
Moving forward, the club aims to hold, once traditional programming is permitted to resume, “a coordinated tryout open to all players, including those not part of the player E.O. Wild bubbles, to create our rostered teams.”