While details have not yet been ironed out, the Prince George Spruce Kings have the comfort of knowing there will be a 2020-21 BCHL season of some sort.

The league deserves credit for making a public statement last week in order to plan ahead.

The decision has given teams and all personnel associated with them, more than a couple of months notice to make final preparations before the puck drops in early December.

Originally, BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb stated that the league would need to get approval for at least 25 % capacity for home games, but as COVID-19 continues to grow in the province (B.C., for example, reported a one-day record 165 cases on Thursday) this does not seem to be a reality.

Hebb and the league teams felt an obligation to forge ahead despite the circumstances.

“As time passed, it became more and more clear that 25% is going to be a tough sell with the provincial health office but we also felt we owed it to the players and fans to have an alternative,” said Hebb in an interview with Brendan Pawliw of MyPGNow.com.

The plan is for each team to have a 30-40 game regular season followed by playoffs with discussions continuing on how that will be implemented.

The schedule will involve regional cohorts.

Even though there will be a pay-to-play model for all players in the league to help with expenses, league owners understand they will take a hit financially.

“As we sit here today, there’s not one single team that is indicating they are taking a year off, and who could blame them, there’s a lot of businesses are feeling the pinch. Our guys just feel so strongly about getting these players a season so that they can be seen by scouts and get scholarships – they are willing to dig into their pocket to help,” added Hebb.

The WHL’s regular season has a tentative start date of December 4th, which is 2 1/2 months away.

While the Board of Governors of the WHL has its fingers crossed that they will get permission for 50 % capacity, considering the current circumstances that seem highly unlikely.

Decision time is quickly approaching.

Nobody in business wants to lose money but sometimes short term pain can end up in long term gain.

My guess is the WHL will decide that for one-year, owners will make a financial sacrifice and have some type of season rather than waiting to the fall of 2021.

There are ways to reduce costs, including fewer overall games, more inter-divisional play, and more doubleheaders (possible tripleheaders).

Either way, when the schedule comes out (if there is one) the Prince George Cougars could very well come out ahead.

The Cougars are used to back-to-back games against the same team, and most certainly would welcome less travel.


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

On the news, tonight all they talked about were boycotts, protests, riots, violence, dissension, disease, lawsuits and court cases. And that was just the sportscast.

*Comedy writer Brad Dickson

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is turning into Johnny Manziel so rapidly that Caesars Las Vegas is preparing an Emperor’s Package for him for next weekend.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

If the Blue Jays do somehow win the AL pennant or even the World Series, do they raise the flag in Toronto or Buffalo?”

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

A greyhound named COVID Nineteen won the seventh race in a photo finish at the Palm Beach (Fla.) Kennel Club on Sept. 4. Well, duh: If neck-and-neck is your idea of social distancing, the smart money’s always on COVID.

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

IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT:

I heard Toronto lost a game this week 20-6. Did the CFL season start while I wasn’t looking?

*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]