Have you ever had a bitter rival but at some point join forces with?

The WHL and BCHL have not exactly been Bosom Buddies but they can understand each other’s hardship.

Both leagues want to play and are committed to a greatly reduced season once provincial health officials, in particular, Dr. Bonnie Henry gives the go ahead to do so.

Realizing there will be few if any fans in the stands, WHL and BCHL owners are prepared for a substantial financial hit but they are looking for help to reduce the sting of their projected losses.

Figuring two heads are better than one, the leagues teamed up to ask the B.C. government for funding help.

“I don’t think you can do one without the other,” Vancouver Giants owner Ron Toigo told Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province. “If it’s going to be there, it’s going to be there to support all of junior hockey.”

Collectively the WHL and BCHL could lose about $20 million this season according to Toigo, who did not say in the interview how much the leagues are asking the government for.

One week ago the Saskatchewan government announced it was giving each of the five WHL teams in the province $600-grand and the SJHL a total of $1 million for its 12 teams.

We are closing in on the one-year mark since COVID-19 became a pandemic in the country and there have been hardships for many businesses let alone millions of people just trying to survive.

Governments have never had so many requests for a handout.

I am not saying one way or another whether taxpayers hard-earned dollars should be footing the bill for wealthy junior hockey owners but if you do not ask you will never receive.

The WHL and BCHL have taken the smart approach by being on the same side when asking for dollars.

Regardless if they are successful, the leagues made an effort to come together.

It will not be long before they are back on the ice and rivals again (especially in recruitment of players) but perhaps this experience will bring out new respect for each other.

After all junior hockey is junior hockey.

When the day comes that spectators are allowed back, the WHL and BCHL will both have their hands full trying to attract a full house in their building.

Those two leagues will need strategic marketing to get the fans excited again to attend games.

It will not be as easy as just opening the door and saying “Welcome Back.”

Many of the casual hockey fans will likely take a wait and see approach.

For how long that will be remains the question.

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Brittany Brees, wife of the Saints QB, wife, revealed in an Instagram post that Drew was playing with a torn rotator cuff, a torn fascia, plus the 11 broken ribs and collapsed lung this season. Just in case you were feeling too tired or old to get off the couch today.

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

Yankee legend Yogi Berra is going to be featured on a stamp. The Berra family contacted the US Postal Service and thanked them for making this day necessary.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Angel Cabrera, a past Masters/U.S. Open winner, was arrested in Brazil and awaits extradition to his native Argentina to face charges of assault, theft, illegal intimidation and disrespect to authorities. Or, as Argentine prosecutors announced it: “Four!”

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


IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

A spicy peanut butter six times hotter than the strongest chili was being sold in England under the label Instant Regret. No, wait–that may be the name of a new Jacksonville Jaguars season ticket package.

*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