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)

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

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Steven Powell is extremely grateful for the help staff and store owners at Valley Fair Mall have provided. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)
Community rallies to replace disabled man’s stolen trike

Steven Powell’s work mates are raising funds to purchase him a new set of wheels

Maureen Jeknavorian explored Kanaka Creek Regional Park recently. (Special to The News)
SHARE: The big skies of Kanaka Creek Regional Park

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

A finished poster promoting a fish ladder along the Alouette River. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge students promote fish ladder in bus stops

Posters by students of the Environmental School to run in bus stops across the city

Darlene and her son, Nolan, share time with a book. To protect his health, Nolan is not able to visit the library branch but the many services it offers allows the family to access materials at home. (FVRL/Special to The News)
COLUMN: Maple Ridge library branch has been a lifeline for many during pandemic

Did you know FVRL library cards are free to local residents?

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Most Read