- BCHL decides to cut ties with Hockey Canada
- BCHL will be able to recruit more players from June 01
- Negative consequences will be something BCHL will have to address
The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) will no longer have ties to Hockey Canada which is the official government body for hockey in Canada.
The BCHL which is a junior level league stated for the last 5 years they were trying to work out their major differences with Hockey Canada but things did not work out as planned.
BCHL Will Have More Freedom Now
The BCHL consists of 18 junior league teams which includes the Merritt Centennials. By cutting ties with Hockey Canada, the BCHL will now act as an independent league and have a lot more freedom to implement its own policies and procedures which the BCHL felt in the past was being restricted by Hockey Canada.
One of the biggest and most immediate changes that the BCHL will make is that it will now recruit more players both internationally and domestically. The BCHL will be able to do this from June 01 and believes it will make the BCHL more appealing for both fans and players.
Graham Fraser, BCHL Chairman released a statement earlier this month and confirmed the separation from Hockey Canada. Fraser pointed out that the BCHL is responsible for sending more players to be a part of NCAA Division 1 teams in comparison of all of Hockey Canada’s junior hockey leagues combined.
Fraser said the BCHL accounted for 411 alumni on NCAA rosters during the last season, which is almost 25 percent of Division 1 college hockey players. The goal of the BCHL is to continue to raise these numbers and that would not be possible based on the current policies and procedures of Hockey Canada.
The BCHL is set to expand its roster size for each team from 23 to 25 players.
BCHL Will Face Negative Impact From Separation
The BCHL knows that it will face a negative impact as well from the separation from Hockey Canada.
Some of main concerns could be the quality of referees that will officiate BCHL games as they will no longer come from Hockey Canada and the fact that coaches and GM’s from BCHL may not be able to easily secure a role with Hockey Canada affiliates leagues/teams.