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The BCHL is determining the fate of the 2020-2021 season today

D-day for BCHL teams

Will the BC Hockey League continue to wait out a decision by the province on a possible shortened season, or pull the pin?

That decision will be made today when the league's board of governors gathers.

The BCHL has put forth a return-to-play proposal, however in her strongest statement concerning the proposal, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were issues.

"There have been a number of concerns identified, I'll be blunt about that, that need to be addressed before that can happen safely," she Tuesday.

"I know timing is an issue, and whether those can be worked out or not, I am not clear."

During a media availability Friday morning, Premier John Horgan would only say any decision would be left up to Dr. Henry.

The BCHL is more complicated," the premier stated, noting there are smaller communities, and more communities in play than the WHL which was approved for play earlier this week.

There are 17 B.C.-based teams in the BCHL compared with five in the WHL.

The BCHL proposal is said to include five hub cities and no testing provisions

BCHL owners are left to decide whether to continue to spend money with no guarantee of a season.

There is a possibility some teams may pull the plug while others could try to wait it out.

Horgan did provide some good news of the financial side.

It's believed the BCHL and five B.C.-based WHL clubs have asked for more than $9 million in financial assistance to cover losses due to COVID-19.

He indicated an announcement could be forthcoming in the coming days, but seemed to indicate more empathy for the BCHL owners.

"They are not major enterprises," said Horgan, "they are often community-based and empty seats mean a big challenge.

"We are looking very seriously at how the province can come in and help those teams."

He says the WHL is quite different, saying they are larger entities, bigger businesses with deeper pockets.



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