What would winter be without ice hockey! If your team hasn’t geared up yet for this season -- perhaps waiting to see what might happen with COVID-19 Return to Play guidelines -- now’s the time to get that going. For practice or play, teams with winning uniforms are more motivated to play like winners. So, what’s in your SquadLocker store?
Some youth hockey teams are already playing
In Massachusetts, the Winthrop Youth Hockey Association has continued to play its way through the pandemic. Both boys and girls in the 8-14 age group are practicing and competing in games, and this month the organization planned to resume Learn to Skate and In-House Mite Development for kids ages 5-7. So far, so good, says WYHA president Steve Indrisano.
Still, most youth teams are not playing just yet, and that’s all the more reason to show your support and encouragement and pride in the fact that they are making the best of a no-fun situation. In fact, team-branded spirit wear is the perfect holiday gift to get everyone’s team spirit juices flowing.
So while you’re browsing our SquadLocker Holiday Gift Guide to find gotta-have-that items for your online uniform store, be sure to pick out plenty of decorated apparel and accessories for families and fans as well.
The pros return in January
Meanwhile, fans are rejoicing because it looks like the new year will (finally) bring NHL action back to the ice. That means now is also the time to check your wardrobe of pro team spirit wear, so you’ll be properly prepared to cheer, at least from the couch. And maybe even from the stands, if Commissioner Gary Bettman has his way.
“Our hope is to have a full season, full regular season, and to have fans in the building, but there are a lot of things that have to transpire, many of which if not most of which are beyond our control before we can finalize our plans."
- Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner
Teams want fans in the stands, too. Don Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players Association, has reportedly said conducting a full season “in a bubble-like environment” is not acceptable.
The NHL is confident in their safety protocols because all team personnel made it through the abbreviated championship playoffs and Stanley Cup Final without a single positive test for COVID-19. “The key,” said Commissioner Bettman, “was clearly the collaboration and cooperation we got from everybody, starting with the players and the players’ association, all of our clubs and particularly the owners in the NHL.”
That same “we’re all in this together” spirit is driving continued caution as the league finalizes return to play details.
The wait won’t be long, now, at least for professional hockey and, hopefully for your youth team’s return to play.
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