Report: QMJHL teams arranging travel for European players to return home

Thomas WilliamsHockey writer
Yahoo Sports Canada
European players from the QMJHL will reportedly soon be heading back home amidst the coronavirus outbreak. (Getty Images)
European players from the QMJHL will reportedly soon be heading back home amidst the coronavirus outbreak. (Getty Images)

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has reportedly sent out a memo, inviting teams to arrange travel for their respective European players so they can re-join their families.

Three days after the league suspended its activities due to the threat of COVID-19, it is now attempting to organize travel for players to return home.

All three leagues of the Canadian Hockey League — the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, in addition to the QMJHL — have paused games until further notice, as of Thursday.

A total of 36 European players compete in the QMJHL and all 18 teams have at least one player from overseas. A number of the international prospects are from Russia, a country that just closed its borders with Poland and Norway for foreigners, as a precautionary measure for the virus. There are 47 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Russia as of Saturday, but no deaths.

In terms of professional hockey, the NHL and NHLPA are reportedly going to send out advisories to teams and players, for Canadian players of American teams, to come north of the border.

While travel is advised to be limited, the Canadian government urged all citizens to return home by “commercial means while they remain available.”

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