OHL Cancels Plans to Return to Play for 2020-2021 Season, Affecting Saginaw Spirit

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has cancelled plans for a Return to Play for the 2020-2021 season due to the recently extended stay at home order in Ontario and increasing cases of COVID-19 across the province. That cancels the season for the Saginaw Spirit, which President and Managing Partner Craig Goslin called “crushing,” in making the announcement on WSGW’s Art Lewis Show Tuesday.

“We have worked tirelessly with the Province and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the past year on different scenarios and different windows of opportunity but the reality is the conditions in Ontario have never been right to start and complete an uninterrupted, safe opportunity for players to showcase their skills,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “We owe it to our players and their families to be definitive. We were committed to return and play this season, but our hopes and desires have been dashed by the cruel realities of COVID-19.”

The OHL includes teams from Ontario, Michigan and Pennsylvania, but Goslin said teams had decided to take an “all for one and one for all” attitude regarding the pandemic.  Goslin said it’s had a devastating effect financially, but he said Spirit owner Dick Garber and the Dow Event Center have been committed partners. Goslin said they’re now looking ahead to the 2021-2022 season.