BCHL reviews several return-to-play plans for 2020-2021

BCHL look toward a return

The BC Hockey League is moving forward with the business of hockey, as a return to the game itself remains up in the air.

In a news release Monday, league commissioner Chris Hebb says several return-to-play plans, put forth by the league office and a return-to-play task force, were reviewed last week.

Those plans include a variety of different start-up dates depending on government imposed restrictions on physical distancing, ways to ease the financial burden on teams, and protocols to promote the safety of players, fans and staff.

Hebb characterized the meetings as "productive."

“We support our provincial health authorities and will comply with the guidelines put in place to make sure the safety of our players, staff and fans are always at the forefront. That being said, we can’t wait to drop the puck on what is sure to be an exciting 2020-21 season, " said Hebb.

“The BCHL has been around for 59 years and we look forward to continuing that tradition for many years to come. Our league provides numerous jobs for residents of B.C. as well as education opportunities for hundreds of players, including 188 university and college student athletes last year alone, with many more expected in the coming months.”

Member teams also began the business of shaping 2020-2021 rosters via trade after Hockey Canada announced the opening, as scheduled, of the Hockey Canada Registry.

The league continues to have discussions with provincial government officials, including Premier John Horgan and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Lisa Beare for financial assistance.

“We’ve had lengthy discussions with Minister Beare and her office since sending them a letter in early April. Upon their request, we also submitted a detailed return-to-play plan and they are in the process of reviewing it," said board chair Graham Fraser.

“Our call with Premier Horgan was also positive. He understands the importance of the BCHL to its 18 communities, as well as the entire province. Premier Horgan, along with Minster Beare, heard our request for financial support and both understand our position. We will continue these discussions with the provincial government in the coming weeks.”

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