MLB is back, it appears the NHL and NBA are not too far behind and the NFL insists it has no plans to budge on opening the season on schedule in September.

Those pro leagues can survive, at least in the short term without fans, because revenue will still come in from television and other areas.

For junior hockey, the waiting game continues.

While the BCHL has been proactive in delaying its 2020-21 season until at least December 1st, the WHL continues to ponder options, most of which are not ideal.

The WHL still has October 2nd pencilled in for the opening night, but with that date just 10 weeks away, one can assume there is not a lot of optimism the puck will actually drop that early.

Coronavirus cases in Western Canada and Washington State are on the rise again, which means health officials in those locations likely are not in the near future going to budge on how many people will be allowed to attend sporting events.

The WHL can continue to wait to announce further plans and dates, but the BCHL wanted to be first out of the gate to give more of a heads up to all involved in the league.

“Pushing it back to a December 1st start date gives us a heck of a lot better chance of not having an interruption, now they aren’t guaranteeing that (Provincial Health) but the idea of the virus kicking in again during the flu season is something we’re concerned about,” said BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb, in an interview with mypgnow.com.

Looking at the calendar, if the BCHL can start in early December, Hebb believes most of the games would still be played under a condensed format.

“We think we can get a season minus ten games, so we’re going for a 54-game season so we are thinking maybe 44 or 46 games would get us to the end of May.”

Naturally, the Prince George Spruce Kings have their positive spin on the new opening night date.

“To have a specific date now that we can shoot for when it comes to ticket packaging and sponsorship planning, it takes a little bit of the guesswork out of the business side of things and also I believe this excites our players,” said Spruce Kings marketing manager Kyle Anderson.

The WHL has been clear they need rinks to be at least 50 per cent of capacity to start while the BCHL appears willing to give it a shot at 25 per cent.

With this being July 24th, it seems not much different than was the situation on June 24th, May 24th or April 24th.

The ultimate decision on junior hockey remains in the hands of the virus and a select group of medical health experts.

Reducing the amount of COVID-19 cases remains the top priority.

While we want junior hockey soon, let’s all remember it remains on the back burner but at least we are about to get our long-awaited sports-fix via TV.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

These MLB preseason games with no one in the stands are so odd. It’s as if we were watching all games at Dodger Stadium in the first three innings.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick have called it quits. When she threw him out, I heard she said, ‘Go, Daddy!’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and former race-car driver Danica Patrick are no longer an item, her rep announced. Rodgers apologists claim he called an audible; her spinmeisters say they hit the skids.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT:

Top three names for a British chef’s “world’s meatiest sandwich” that included 1,445 grams of ham, 720 grams of chorizo and weighed 28 pounds:
3. McDeadlet;
2. Big Plaque Attack;
1. Dill and Hamnation.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to [email protected]