London Knights preparing for shortened OHL season

The London Knights will kick off their 2021-22 regular season with a home opener against the Owen Sound Attack at Budweiser Gardens on Friday night. Luke Durda / OHL Images

The London Knights now have a target date for the start of the delayed Ontario Hockey League season.

The league announced Tuesday morning that they are planning to begin the season on Feb. 4, 330 days after the final games were played before last season was cancelled.

Detailed in a press release, the league says it continues to work with government and health agencies to finalize outstanding matters that will help ensure the health and safety of all members of the OHL community.

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“Although we are eager to get back on the ice, the safety and well-being of our players, staff, officials, tremendous fans and communities remains paramount,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch, adding the league is continuing to work with government and health agencies.

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“We remain committed to providing our players with a safe, first-class development experience as they pursue their professional and academic goals.”

The regular season will feature a 40-game schedule, with the majority of the games against nearby opponents.

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Rob Simpson, associated general manager of the London Knights, says that will make for some competitive hockey right from the first game.

“I think it makes your regular season that much more important, you just won’t have the time for a slow start,” said Simpson.

“Every night is probably going to feel like a four-point night, I think it’s going to be pretty exciting, you’re going to see playoff-style hockey from the start because teams will be competing for those four playoff spots to try and extend the season.”

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The season will wrap up on May 8 with just eight teams qualifying for the 2021 playoffs, four from each conference. The postseason will consist of three rounds, with the first being a best-of-five.

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Details concerning the structure of team alignment will be made available upon release of the 2020-21 OHL Regular Season schedule.

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