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Puck will drop on next Ontario Hockey League season Feb. 4

Kinston Frontenacs' Shane Wright moves with the puck during OHL action against the Ottawa 67's in Kingston, Ont. on Friday Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Reuben Polansky-Shapiro

The Ontario Hockey League has officially announced that it will drop the puck on its next season on Feb. 4.

The new date emerged Wednesday from a virtual conference call among the league’s general managers after the league postponed its 2019-20 season in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was confirmed by the league Thursday morning.

The OHL season, which was originally expected to start in early December, will consist of 40 games and four teams from the Eastern and Western conferences will make the playoffs.

Read more: Rick Zamperin: Hard questions remain for CFL and OHL amid coronavirus pandemic

The Memorial Cup, Canada’s junior hockey championship tournament, will be held from June 17 to 27.

Training camps are slated to begin on Jan. 3 and exhibition games would be played from January 29 to 31.

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No decisions have been made regarding the OHL’s three American-based teams in Flint and Saginaw, Mich., and Erie, Pa.

Read more: Coronavirus: MacLeod says OHL’s return won’t happen with bodychecking, other physical contact

Players coming into Canada from the United States and European countries will be asked to arrive by Jan. 8 and quarantine for 14 days.

The official 2021 schedule has yet to be released, but the OHL Draft is scheduled for June 5.

Not mentioned by the league on Wednesday was a stipulation from Ontario’s minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries, Lisa MacLeod, who recently suggested the OHL would not hold a season unless bodychecking was removed from the game.

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