Icedogs propose spring season

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

If anybody’s not giving up on the 2020/21 season, it’s the Slave Lake Icedogs. Team owner Lauren Barr made a proposal to the Town of Slave Lake last week for a late winter/spring season, to start as soon as possible. She also shared the details with The Leader.

It’s proposed in two parts. The first would go from whenever the ice reopens to April 1. The second part is proposed to run from April 3 to the end of June.

It’s a pretty ambitious idea, with the Icedogs facilitating classes for various younger age groups. It calls for seven hours of ice per day, five days a week.
That’s the first part of the proposal. The second part, to commence Apr. 3, would consist of a three-on-three league for youth in the area, as well as Icedogs’ games on Saturdays.

Whether that can go ahead as proposed depends on a further relaxing of restrictions by the provincial government. Barr says she (or the league, or both) has also applied to the province for an exemption “so we can start normally, like the WHL.”

That’s the Western Hockey League, the major junior circuit. What’s been approved isn’t exactly ‘normal,’ but it does look as if a new Alberta-only division of the WHL will be able to resume play on Feb. 26.

That’ll be after a pretty strict two-week isolation period and regular testing for COVID. This according to a family member of one of the Lethbridge Hurricanes who spoke to The Leader last week.

Barr says she expects similar permission to be granted to the GMHL West Division, which the Icedogs are part of. No inter-provincial travel would be necessary in any case.

“We will need to pay for private weekly COVID testing,” Barr says. “I consulted the WHL and the GMHL head office before applying.”

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