One gets the feeling the BCHL, if allowed, would follow the NFL’s lead and just plough through the season, regardless of the pandemic.

I am sure there are other leagues that have the same thought process.

Commissioner Chris Hebb was hoping that the delayed season would finally get underway Dec. 2 but the best-case scenario now is for the puck to drop Dec 8.

“We are trying everything we can to get a season. –It is a #1 priority to get these 400 players on the ice this year because it matters a lot to them and their families. We are hopeful if things go the way they should that we will be back playing—all you guys just hang in tight,” said Hebb in an interview this week with mypgnow.com.

The BCHL ideally wanted a 54-game schedule with spectators in arenas but with the coronavirus growing, the league would be thrilled if each team could play 32 games with no fans in the stands.

“We are all in the same boat with everybody else in BC. We have to try and figure out what the restrictions mean and we did not want to react too soon,’ said Hebb, making reference to the BCHL not wanting an interrupted season which has occurred in other hockey leagues throughout the country.

The BCHL did play preseason games but resisted the temptation of playing games that actually count with two points on the line.

“If the PHO (Provincial Health Office) extends their current restrictions beyond Dec. 7, we have the option of moving the start date to after the holidays, but it is our intention to begin play once the current order expires”, stated Hebb on the league’s website.

“Our objective from the beginning, when we worked out our COVID-19 Safety Plan with the PHO, was to allow our players to have a season, but we want to make sure it is under the safest conditions possible.”

While the abbreviated season, if there is one, will take a toll on teams financially, the BCHL is relying on player fees and sponsorship to help ease the financial burden.

The Prince George Spruce Kings, who went 4-2-1 in seven exhibition games, are ready to go, unlike the Wenatchee Wild.

The Wild announced on Tuesday that due to recent COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the state of Washington and the continued closure of the Canada-US border, the team will take a hiatus for the 2020-21 BCHL season.

Wenatchee has 20 American players on its roster and they are now free agents.

Players want to play, coaches want to coach, fans want to watch but the virus does not give a darn.

There are just 35 days left in this calendar year.

It’s unfortunate that 2020 will be remembered for cases and not goals or celebrations.

Despite the optimism that a vaccine will start to be available early in the new year, we are not sure when or if we will be able to return to some form of normalcy in 2021.

The BCHL is determined to take risks at this juncture.

Just because they may get the go-ahead from the PHO, this does not mean those risks just disappear.

It is important that message does not get lost in the shuffle.

#

Gregg Drinnan has gone daily this month with his column mostly updating COVID-19 and hockey stories. Here is the latest.


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Headline: “NFL to require players to wear masks on the sideline.” Real headline: “NFL getting nervous about playoffs.”

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

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was actually injured as a result of stepping on a penalty flag. It’s believed to be the first injury as a result of stepping on a flag since Abbie Hoffman did so in front of a cop at the ’68 Democratic National Convention,

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kevin Porter Jr. was arrested on a gun charge in Ohio after he crashed his car and investigating officers discovered a loaded firearm inside. Apparently, he was on his way to the morning shoot-around.

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

IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

According to a Gallup report, Sunday is the day we spend the most time doing things we aren’t good at, especially if you’re a New York Jet.

*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 hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca