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There are unconfirmed reports the BC Hockey League is looking to break from the CJHL

Will BCHL go it alone?

Rumours have been swirling for much of the week concerning a possible split between the BC Hockey League and the CJHL, which oversees the 132 Junior A clubs encompassing 10 leagues across Canada.

These rumours are nothing new. They've been circulating for a number of years, suggesting the BCHL would split from the national body and go it alone.

Much of the talk is coming out of Saskatchewan, where SJHL president Bill Chow is quoted as saying a letter from the BCHL has been sent to the CJHL outlining it's intention to break away.

Those reports, from former Regina Pats and Saskatchwan Roughriders broadcaster Rod Pedersen suggests four teams from the Alberta Junior Hockey League would also break away and join the BCHL effort.

The Grande Prairie Storm, one of those teams mentioned, have denied they are leaving in published reports this week, although they do appear to confirm the BCHL's intentions.

In a tweet Thursday evening, AJHL president Ryan Bartoshyk denied any Alberta team is involved.

"The AJHL remains a member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and there is no plan for the creation of a new joint League. No active members of the Alberta Junior Hockey League have expressed a desire to leave the AJHL and join an alternative League outside of the Province."

There is speculation the BCHL, considered the top junior A league in the country, is looking to compete directly with the USHL and NAHL.

If the league were to split, it would no longer be able to compete for the Centennial Cup. However, other restrictions around player movement and age guidelines would also not be applicable.

The BC Hockey League has not yet commented on the reports.

Calls requesting comment have not been returned.



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