BISMARCK, N.D. - When the NAHL hockey season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bismarck Bobcats were 52 games into a very successful year. The 'Cats were right on the heels of Aberdeen, just two points back and they were on a four game winning streak.
Bismarck was getting ready for a series with the Wings that could have vaulted them into first place in the Central Division and who knows how far they could have gone in the playoffs.
Bobcats general manager/head coach Layne Sedevie said: "I would say it's close to, if not our best, year we've ever had since the national championship team. Thirteen guys going to play Division. One hockey out of this group. It just speaks volumes. And, I don't know if it makes it better or worse, but this team is going to go down as one of the better teams I would say in my time here. Probably top two teams, top three that have been assembled. It's tough -- swallow when you look at they're not going to have a chance to do something special. I think they were playing the right brand of hockey at the right time of the year, but what you touched on 13 kids, where this league has gotten to be. It's a special place and I'm just proud to be a part of it and be able to give these kids an opportunity to play and get scholarships at the Division One and Division Three levels, it's in a great spot."
The sudden end of the season and the uncertainty of what the future will look like is not an easy place for Sedevie to be sitting in.
"The landscape has really evolved over the last six, seven, eight years in this league. I think when you look at things what's most important? That's our product and our product is our players. When it comes to safety that's that main reason that every decision was made through the league office, through our owners and everybody on the way down that was the number one concern and that was our players," said Sedevie.
The Bobcats did move their camps from May to the two weekends following the 4th of July. One will be in Detroit with the other in Minnesota.
"I think if you have a plan it seems like it changes every day and to me is the crazy part about this. We're going to do our work and the nice part about this I think our staff has done a phenomenal job the last two years and got this team back to where we feel we want to bee and that's challenging for the Central Cup each year. What the summer holds? We'll just keep working and do what we can," said Sedevie.