The B.C. Hockey League has announced it plans to start its 2020-21 regular season Dec. 1, though teams can start training camps in early September. (Black Press file photos)

BCHL teams can start training in September for first league games in December

B.C. Hockey League announces Dec. 1 start date for 2020-21 season

BCHL players will finally get to lace up their skates again in early September, though hockey season won’t start until December.

The B.C. Hockey League announced today that it plans to start the 2020-21 regular season Dec. 1. A press release from the league said that its communications with the province and health officials suggested that waiting until December “gives us the best chance at ensuring we have an uninterrupted season, while also maximizing the amount of regular-season games we’ll be able to play,” said Chris Hebb, BCHL commissioner.

Teams are being given the option to start training camp in September, and divisional exhibition games will be able to start once the province moves to Phase 3 of ViaSport B.C.’s return-to-play model, the BCHL press release notes.

The Nanaimo Clippers say they plan to open training camp Sept. 8, while the Alberni Valley Bulldogs say they’re planning for camp to open Sept. 14. An Island Division exhibition tournament is being planned to start in October and the BCHL news release noted that divisional exhibition games will be live-streamed.

“There’s going to be games played in that time, we’re just not confident we’re going to have a large capacity [for fans],” said Tali Campbell, Clippers general manager.

He said league governors anticipate that by Dec. 1, they’ll be able to fill arenas to at least a 50-per cent capacity.

The BCHL hasn’t released its regular-season schedule yet.

“Once the number of games has been determined along with the special protocols that will be put in place, we will be happy to provide more information,” noted a statement from Vernon Vipers ownership. “We look forward to seeing our fans and partners again very soon.”

The Bulldogs say they’re working closely with municipal staff to make sure their multiplex will be ready to welcome fans back into the building safely once the season starts.

“We’re anxious for the day when we can re-open our doors for our home opener and welcome our amazing fans back,” said David Michaud, Bulldogs president, in a press release.

BCHL teams rely on ticket sales, and will have limited or no gate during the first few months of the season while absorbing costs of running a junior hockey program.

“We’re certainly having to re-juggle our books and figure out ways to make things work in the larger scheme of things,” Campbell said.

But he said “every governor’s on board” with the extended training camp model meant to engage players, help them achieve their hockey and education goals, and prepare them for a 2020-21 season.

“[Players] want to come back … they want to aim to win a championship here,” Campbell said. “They want to get back into that culture of things and get going on practising and being part of a team.”

READ ALSO: B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHL

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

Just Posted

Although the Campbell River Shoebox Project is not actually collecting shoeboxes this year, instead they are providing gift cards, coordinator Alison Skrepnick (pictured from last year) hopes Campbell River and North Island residents will still participate. this year’s Dec. 9 deadline is looking. Photo contributed
Time running out to help brighten the holiday for local vulnerable women

The Campbell River and North Island Shoebox Project deadline is Dec. 9

Franca Warkentin, President, and Annie Holmes, Trustee, of the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary present a cheque for $500 to Hamper Chairman Ken Niesen. Photo contributed
Final week to apply for Christmas Hampers is upon us

Applications are coming in slowly but the Dec. 5 deadline is Saturday.

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Campbell River businesses not immune to mask refusals and disturbances

Police have not handed out fines yet under the new provincial mandate

The Rotary Rock and Roll trail ready to ride. Photo supplied by Bryan Yells
PHOTOS: River City Cycle Club opens new mountain bike trail

Trail building seen as way of giving back to trail network

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read