More “bucks” are headed to the Prince George Spruce Kings and every other team in the BCHL.

What’s not to like about the Cranbrook Bucks joining the league for the 2020-21 season?

A BCHL franchise coming to Cranbrook carries a $1.2 million expansion fee which will be spread out among the other 17 teams.

In addition, teams like the Spruce Kings will reduce travel, since there will be a second team in the Kootenay region.

The Trail Smoke Eaters are just over two hours down the road, 228 kilometres east of Cranbrook.

Moreover, 18 (teams) is an even number and gives the league more options.

The Spruce Kings would like to stay in the Mainland Division where they have enjoyed much more success compared to when they were in the Interior Division (1996-97-2011-12).

The league has months to figure out the best solution going forward but it really should not take that long.

It would seem logical that Cranbrook would be in the Interior Division alongside Trail, but if nothing else changed that would give the Interior eight teams while both the Island and Mainland Divisions would have five.

Of course, there are better solutions to give more balance.

“We’ve got a period of time to come up with some recommendations that we’ll bring forward to the rest of the Board of Governors as we have some options on the table, there could be changes with realignment that could affect the Spruce Kings. We’re not sure yet,” said Spruce Kings GM Mike Hawes in an interview with Brendan Pawliw of

May I suggest something simple that seems logical and would work for nearly all of the teams.

Put Prince George in the Interior to make nine teams.

Combine the rest of the Mainland teams along with the Island Divisions into one nine-team Coastal division.

To maintain the 58 game schedule and using Prince George as an example, have the Spruce Kings play each of their eight division opponents five times (total of 40) and play each of the other nine teams from the Coast twice (total of 18) and presto it all works out.

Since playoff revenue is a must, have the top eight teams in each division make the playoffs, with a 1 vs.8, 2 vs.7, 3 vs.6 and 4 vs.5 first-round playoff pairings. Winners advance where the higher seed from the regular season continues to enjoy the home-ice advantage.

Eventually, the best from the Interior would play the best from the Coast for the Fred Page Cup.

My workable suggestion though is not necessarily what the BCHL Commissioner is considering.

“We’re probably going to have an Interior Division that Cranbrook fits into,” Hebb told the Cranbrook Daily Townsman.

“We may stay with three divisions: Interior, Lower Mainland and Island. But I would also ask our competition committee to come back with some ideas where maybe there are four divisions, some six-team divisions, some four-team divisions. But that’s going to be decided by the hockey minds and that will be announced within the next three months.”

Regardless of what the divisions look like, the BCHL will be operating as an 18-team league next year.

While that number may seem high, considering highly skilled talent availability, financially it makes sense, or shall I say dollars and cents, to welcome the Bucks into the league.


This is season two of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that primarily features the PG Cougars.

My guests on the fourth Cat Scan in year two are Cougars starting goalie Taylor Gauthier and the team’s goalie coach Taylor Dakers.

Gauthier discusses the disappointment of not being drafted, outlook on the season, his leadership role and his goals going forward.

Dakers talks about transitioning from being a WHL goaltender to coaching them, and he also gives an insight into other roles he has with the team including food selection and accommodations.


A Donald Trump golf course in Scotland continues to lose millions of dollars. So now Congress could be looking for phone calls Trump made threatening to withhold money from the UK.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach

Not only did the LA Dodgers lose Game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, but Clayton Kershaw’s performance in the game earned him an offer to play the lead in ‘Equalizer 3.’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

You think you’re having a bad day. You could have Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield in your fantasy football league.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California

Police arrested a vendor at a Miami Dolphins game who put a $724 charge for two beers onto a fan’s credit card. At least the fan had the good sense to turn down two beers and two tickets to the next Dolphins game for $725.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times


Sonny Wool, New Zealand’s so-called psychic sheep, picked the All Blacks to win the Rugby World Cup. Clearly, he thought they were the team to bleat.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie


Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on
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