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

Lake Cowichan’s Oliver Finlayson, second from left, and his family — including grandma Marnie Mattice, sister Avery, mom Amie Mattice and dad Blair Finlayson — were all smiles on Nov. 16 when their pool arrived, thanks to lots of fundraising and the generosity of the Cowichan Lake community. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Lake community comes together to help family get vital pool

Oliver Finlayson, 9, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hydrotherapy is a big help

The Little Corner Sandwich Shop in Cobble Hill is opening a second location in Duncan in January. Pictured are owners Clayton Frost and Chris Jameson at the Cobble Hill location. (Submitted photo)
Business notes: Little Corner Sandwich Shop coming to Duncan

Cobble Hill business expanding woth second location

No face-offs until at least Dec. 8 after the BCHL shuts down pre-sesason play. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Capitals’ exhibition season cut short

BCHL cancels remainder of the pre-season

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read