The BCHL has postponed its regular season until 2021.

BCHL postpones regular season until new year

48 % of players are 19 or older, which means nearly half of the BCHL’s players are ineligible to practice with their team

The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) announced late Monday, Dec. 7, that the regular season will now be delayed until the New Year.

The fledging season got underway earlier this fall with some exhibition play among teams, including the Cranbrook Bucks, who are in their inaugural year.

However, pandemic conditions meant the cancellation of the balance of pre-season play, and the postponement of the start of the regular season itself.

“The recent order that was extended [Monday] by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) means that, as of now, BCHL players age 19 or older are not permitted to engage in any team activities, while players 18 or younger may participate in team activities under Phase 2 of viaSPORT BC’s return to play,” the BCHL said in a press release.

“As a result, the league has decided to delay the start of their 2020-21 regular season to the new year.”

Graham Fraser, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the BCHL, said for the past nine months the league had “done everything possible to do right by our players and the public.”

“Under our PHO-approved COVID-19 Safety Plan, we successfully trained and played exhibition games from September to November, completing 90 games without a transmission, but the current restrictions will not allow us to start our regular season in December.”

“We remain committed to exploring every option available to us to start our season safely and as soon as possible, including presenting the concept of a BCHL hub. We look forward to getting things going again in January with all of our players back on the ice.”

Almost 50 per cent of the league is currently made up of players 19 or older, which means nearly half of the BCHL’s players are currently ineligible to practice with their team under the order.

The BCHL has adhered to all travel restrictions imposed by the PHO and none of its players are traveling anywhere outside of their home arena. Despite that, the PHO has restricted 19 and 20-year-old players from practicing with their teams.

“We are disappointed that our 19 and 20-year-old players are not able to join their teammates in on-ice activities,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb. “We are working diligently with BC Hockey, viaSPORT BC and the PHO to get our older players on the ice, but at the moment we must follow the PHO’s order as written.”

“While the current restrictions only directly affect athletes age 19 and up, there are unintended consequences for our younger players as well,” said BCHL Executive Director Steven Cocker. “Although they are still allowed on the ice, the fact remains that half of their teammates are not, which essentially means their teams and the league are forced to pause operations until restrictions are lifted.”

If current restrictions are extended beyond midnight on Jan. 8, the league will come together and make a decision on when play can resume.

The BCHL consists of 18 teams throughout B.C., and one in Washington State. That team, the Wenatchee Wild, opted out of the whole season.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bus routes for CMSD82 students in Cablecar and Kitamaat Village have been temporarily changed for Jan. 21 and 22. (Black Press file photo)
Temporary school bus route changes for Cablecar, Kitamaat Village

The two routes will be combined for Jan. 21 and 22 due to a bus driver shortage

Haisla Bridge traffic will be impacted overnights from Jan. 20 to 23 due to District work. (Clare Rayment/Kitimat Northern Sentinel)
Haisla Bridge traffic impacted due to District work

The bridge will be single lane traffic overnights from Jan. 20 to 23

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Black Press file photo
Fraud scam, car in ditch among weekly Kitimat RCMP report

Kitimat RCMP report from Dec. 18 to 24

(Mountainview Lodge photo)
Santa and Mrs. Claus payed a special visit to the residents at Mountainview Lodge in Kitimat back in December to help raise their spirits during the difficult Christmas season.
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Most Read