The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season remains in limbo, but the Saskatchewan government has thrown SJ teams a financial lifeline.
Yorkton Terrier Club President Corvyn Neufeld said as it stands right now the league is still not allowed to restart.
"For sure not before the end of January, but beyond that we don't know," he said.
Neufeld said within the league "there is talk we could resume, and if so when and for how long," but added those discussions are speculative at present.
It is anticipated if the season were to restart "it probably will be without fans," said Neufeld.
While empty seats would make it "financially very difficult" in terms of covering costs, Neufeld said the league has a mandate to help develop players so they can advance their hockey careers after the SJHL.
"We would still be able to do that without fans," he said.
On a more positive note Friday the Government of Saskatchewan announced funding to support the province’s Western Hockey League (WHL) teams and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).
The provincial government is providing $3 million in support to help WHL teams address revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Each of Saskatchewan’s WHL teams will receive $600,000.
The SJHL will receive $1 million in provincial support. This funding will be provided to the League.
"It will be very helpful for us," said Neufeld. "It doesn't eliminate all of our issues and concerns but it helps a lot."
Neufeld said the onus will be on the Terrier board to determine "the most effective way to utilize these dollars to ensure the team is sustainable."
While the one million dollars will go the league, Neufeld said at present he is led to believe after taking some of the funds to cover league expenses the rest will be distributed to the individual teams. He added he has been told the Terriers will receive "just over $70,000."
The $70K is about what the Terriers current debt is, he added.