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SENS, OHLERS GET GO AHEAD TO BEGIN SKATING AT PRIVATE FACILITY

It's a big step towards the eventual return of the 2019-20 season. Members of the Ottawa Senators, as well as players from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) have received permission from the provincial government to begin skating at the Minto Arena, a private facility in Ottawa. However, there will be rules in place for skaters to follow.

According to the Ottawa Sun's Ken Warren, no more than five players are permitted to be on the ice at one time and everyone in the building must respect physical distancing rules on and off the ice.

Warren states that the facility is slated to open this Thursday, and is already booked up between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. for 50-minute sessions on Thursday and Friday.

“It has been pretty busy from our standpoint and we’ve had lots of enquiries in the past 24-48 hours,” Minto Arena general manager Scott Lawryk told the Ottawa Sun. “A lot of skating schools are checking it out, along with the pro and minor pro players.”



While this is a small but significant step for hockey since the shutdown on March 12th, Lawryk noted that scrimmages are still a ways away. He said right now, most bookings are for coaching, essentially a coach and four players, as they look to shake off the rust and get back into game shape.

"We have three ice surfaces and we’re only using one – the international ice surface – so it’s easier to maintain the distance. Five people on the ice shouldn’t be an issue," Lawryk said.

While the Senators won't be taking part in any playoff scenario once the NHL returns unless it involves all 31 teams, which seems highly unlikely, off-season training is important for developing players, while veterans who have been off the ice for some time will be itching to get their game legs back, or as close to it as they can get in skating drills.

Source: Ottawa Sun
TIM TUCKER
MAY 20, 2020  (18H18)
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