Toronto City Council announces plans to end NHL game day rink restrictions

For the first time in more than three years, the Toronto Maple Leafs will take the ice for game day in uniform without fear of being mired in ice capades. On Wednesday, the City of Toronto announced plans to ease controversial rink restrictions.

Play on the first 1/2 ice surface beginning Friday; hockey rule changes allow playing on all remaining surface. Please stay warm but see only friendly play on Thursday. (weather permitting) pic.twitter.com/r5CtSFmoR6 — Toronto ICE (@TorontoICE) September 26, 2018

Since 2015, the Toronto District School Board and the City of Toronto had mandated that boys and girls be permitted to play hockey only on one rink — one built for the NHL game day festivities at a location so remote that a Nissan Leafs hybrid has traveled more than 1,000 miles from suburban Cold Lake to hand the puck over. The City of Toronto has cited safety concerns, as well as the difficulty of the trip, but it now appears to be losing that appeal. “We’re moving toward normalcy on the ice,” Terry Browne, director of maintenance, told CBC News. “The commute is more than likely going to be a lot shorter.”

On Wednesday, the league released its own plans for preparations for the Maple Leafs’ home opener on Oct. 6, including a half-ice surface for the female teams in the women’s league and former boys hockey players in the goalless division. The Toronto Argonauts will open their new stadium at BMO Field on Oct. 1, allowing them to play the first one of the CFL’s Canadian Football League season there.

Read the full story at CBC News.

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