QMJHL votes to reduce training camp by 10 days, push start date back

Jason Malloy jmalloy@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 11, 2016

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

©Courtesy of QMJHL

The start of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League training camp and regular season have been pushed back for the 2016-17 season.

The board of governors approved the change Thursday in Dorval, Que.

The start of training camps has been moved from Aug. 7 to Aug. 17 with the 68-game season starting on Sept. 22.

Islanders general manager Grant Sonier said he likes the condensed training camp.

“Six weeks of training camp is too long,” he said. “A much shorter camp should add to the intensity and should add to the quality of the play at the beginning of the season.”

Starting the training camp earlier would make it hard for teams to find billet families and increased costs.

The Islanders started their 2015-16 regular season on Sept. 11. The change is expected to mean teams will have players back from NHL tryouts and rookie camps.

“This will allow a truer sense of our actual roster at the beginning of (the regular season),” Sonier said. “It should make for better hockey on opening night.”

The general manager said Islanders governor Geoff Boyle and Halifax’s Bobby Smith put a lot of time discussing the issue before the meeting.

“Hats off to Bobby and Geoff and anybody else who took charge in this,” Sonier said. “Those who took the lead on this deserve credit for making this happen.”

The league hopes the move will boost attendance. It also did not want to compete with the World Cup of Hockey in September.