How COVID-19 is leading some N.S. university athletes to go pro

The COVID-19 suspension of the college hockey season in Atlantic Canada is pushing a few gamers to go pro, and so that you can depart holes in the rosters of Nova Scotia teams. 

“There Is possibilities that have offered themselves, after which i guess they’re taking the ones opportunities,” stated Phil Currie, executive director of Atlantic School Sport.

The National Hockey League is anxious approximately cancelling games if too many players are sick or setting apart because of the coronavirus, so NHL groups can now pack their rosters with backup gamers from lower skilled leagues.

In turn, decrease leagues want to exchange players being misplaced because of NHL necessities, and a few university athletes are stepping up.

thus far, the Acadia Axemen of Wolfville, N.S., have misplaced four avid gamers to professional contracts, and the Dalhousie Tigers and Saint Mary’s Huskies, both of Halifax, have lost two gamers apiece.

the executive director of athletics at Dalhousie mentioned it isn’t just an Atlantic Canadian phenomenon. Tim Maloney knows of more than 50 university gamers throughout Canada who’ve taken jobs in professional hockey. 

“With NHL players no longer being able to play, AHL avid gamers get known as up, after which East Coast League gamers get referred to as up into the AHL,” he said. 

The trickle-down effect “has created more professional possibilities for hockey players arguably than ever before,” he mentioned. 

Tough days for coaches

Darren Burns, head train of the Acadia Axemen, stated Nova Scotia groups have it better than their neighbours as a result of they’re allowed daily practices. 

Hockey practices has been banned in New Brunswick and P.E.I., however gamers still long for the sport. 

“Painters need to paint and writers need to write,” he stated. “Athletes want to play. it’s a tricky, difficult situation.” 

At The Same Time As college gamers tend to be aggressive about each sports and teachers, getting an opportunity to play and be paid is an enormous lure.

“Obviously playing in front of fanatics and fiddling with this energy … I Am positive it is one thing they want to be a component of,” Burns said.

Burns mentioned it puts him in a tough spot balancing the destiny of his group and the dreams of his gamers. 

“they have got to make their very own choices and, , we give a boost to each and every guy,” Burns stated. “I Am the show of a program. you have got the team to fret approximately too.”

Studies continue on-line

The director of athletics and game at Saint Mary’s School said going pro doesn’t necessarily mean forsaking some extent, as a result of some players can continue their college studies online. 

“They’re still attaining, in the long run, a few of the objectives in their life, of graduating with a degree from the college,” Scott Gray said. “They Can make a few money and continue on with their education.” 

Maloney mentioned no longer knowing whilst an Atlantic School Game (AUS) season will resume is difficult for everybody. 

“i used to be no longer in a place to bring a few of the ones avid gamers the clarity or sure bet that they have been hoping for,” Maloney said. “They’re being forced to make selections underneath tight timelines. And at this time, we nonetheless don’t know once we will return to play.” 

Currie, with the AUS, stated it’s unimaginable to foretell what’s going to occur in a pandemic. 

“We simply wish to ensure that we are being attentive to public well being, and playing via the rules, and doing all things we need to do to come back,” he mentioned.  “We Are trying to take a tumbler part-complete right here and say, perhaps mid-February? I’m Hoping so.”

A mid-February start may give groups time to resume observe and sign up for a shortened regular season and AUS playoffs. 

However whatever the timeline, Scott Grey of Saint Mary’s mentioned everyone will miss their departed players. 

“Sadly, they will not be enjoying for us, which hurts us. But on the finish of the day, that’s all a part of COVID,” he mentioned.

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