Newcastle Northstars coach John Kennedy jnr feels a season off could persuade some of his players to return in 2021 and he applauded the efforts of Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) officials who tried to organise some form of competition amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Northstars, who announced a four-match Hawkesbury Classic series with the Sydney Ice Dogs on Thursday, won't have the chance to add a seventh national title to their collection this year after the 2020 AIHL was cancelled this week.
"It's just one of those things," Kennedy jnr said. "We'll look at the Goodall Cup in the years to come and there won't be a champion for 2020. It's been a year of the unknowns."
Kennedy jnr, who was named AIHL coach of the year for 2019 after his rookie season in charge, said it was a "credit" to the national committee for "holding out as long as they could" and "we certainly appreciated their efforts."
Kennedy jnr said players who were thinking about a "last hurrah" may now want to "go around again" next year.
The Northstars, who started training together last month, and Ice Dogs will go head-to-head at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Sunday (4pm).
Games two and three take place at Macquarie Ice Rink on August 8 and 15 (5pm). The series wraps up at Warners Bay on August 22 (4pm).
Tickets are limited and each fixture is set to be live streamed.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN OTHER NEWS