The Forgotten Team
Officials across the QMJHL are often the forgotten team.
The 2020-2021 season will undoubtedly be vastly different than anything they will every experience.
The fraternity of Q officials will grow even closer this season with the elimination of crossover travel for games.
Locally based officials in cities with QMJHL franchises will definitely play a massive role as they always do in regional play in the QMJHL.
Roughly thirty five QMJHL qualified officials call the Maritimes home.
Familiarity amongst players and coaches has never been called into question, but this season’s set up may only intensify those relationships.
It’s a three way highway when it comes to those ever changing professional relationships between officials, players and coaches.
When the puck drops there’s a professional level of respect that’s truly unparalleled.
The fraternity of officials across the Q run up and down the roads every weekend and potentially twice through the work week to fulfill their obligation and duty to the game.
Sure it’s a job, but it’s extremely thankless.
It takes a special breed to throw on the stripes.
Those that call the QMJHL home are arguably some of the best across the entire Canadian Hockey League.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season seems like it’s right around the corner, the anticipation and excitement is palpable, but so is the uncertainty.
Obviously that uncertainty has to be felt amongst the officiating fraternity as well.
The forgotten team deserves to feel protected and safe just like everyone else, once the puck is dropped on the new season.
Over the years the QMJHL has done a phenomenal job developing young officials for the next level.
There’s no question the league will do everything their power to ensure the safety and health of everyone in the game this year.
From the small print on the bottom of game sheet, to being berated from the stands, Q officials feel the brunt of the hockey community while logging hundreds of hours on the roads across the Maritimes and Quebec each year.
Unappreciated and often forgotten, their impact on the game is truly immeasurable.
It’s unclear if QMJHL officials will have their annual summer training and identification camp or if they will elect to have Zoom or Conference Calls to discuss potential rule changes and other topics of importance for the new season.
It’s unclear if they will be allowed to travel together to games, which ultimately brings that fraternity together even more.
Some of the games brightest star officials in the NHL got their start in the Q. Hockey dreams are hockey dreams, there not always black and white.
The forgotten team is constantly working hard to ensure their ready to go when the 2020-2021 season begins.
We all may have raised our voices at officials across the various levels of the game, but now more than ever, we need to respect their place in the game.
The forgotten team need our support.
They need our respect.
Their role in the game needs to recognized.
Everyone has a job to do within the game, it just so happens the forgotten team’s is one of the most important.
As AC/DC wrote “it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.”
The forgotten team will be ready to go and trust me they’re not looking to rock the boat, they just want clean fast hockey, now let’s all hope they get it.
Oh yeah and next time we watch QMJHL hockey, let’s try to remember the forgotten team.