The WHL Central Division will begin its 24-game mini-season just one week from today.

The league’s East Division will open in a hub in Regina on March 12th with no fans.

The U.S. Division (which now includes Don Nachbaur of P.G. as an associate coach with the Tri-City Americans) will get going on March 19th.

That leaves the B.C. Division still waiting for the official go-ahead.

Dr Bonnie Henry obviously has a lot of her mind, with hockey obviously not at the forefront.

She may have been caught a little off-guard during Tuesday’s media COVID-19 briefing when she was asked about the WHL by Catherine Garrett of MyPGNow. The question was worded in this manner: The WHL has been given the go-ahead by health officials on the Prairies and south of the border in the Pacific North-west to start their season. When do you anticipate BC to be given the green light and what has been the hold-up?

“I have not received an updated proposal from them in the last few weeks. As I have said before we are happy to look at that. I hope that, if we continue on the trajectory we are that we will be able to salvage a season come March or April,” stated Henry in her reply.

The WHL and its five B.C. Division teams are not saying much publically.

The PG Cougars are now referring all questions on the matter to the league office.

Brendan Pawliw, also from MYPGNow, called WHL headquarters Wednesday trying to secure an interview with a league representative.

He was not granted an interview but instead was given a statement from league commissioner Ron Robison.

“We are in ongoing discussions with B.C. health authorities and we are in the process of reviewing the details of our return to play proposal. We are hopeful that we can obtain approval soon,” said Robison.

Perhaps Henry has not been made aware yet it seems obvious members of her staff have been in communication with the league.

I am just like everybody else, with no inside information on the matter, but it appears likely that any day now B.C. Division teams will finally get the go-ahead to play.

Don’t expect any games in Prince George as reports last month indicated that Kamloops and Kelowna would act as a hub.

The BCHL is also anxiously awaiting word when they can drop the puck.

Both leagues have asked for financial compensation from the government realizing they will have a limited income because when those games get approved there will be no fans allowed inside the building.

Is this an ideal situation?

Absolutely, not!

Could an argument be made to forget about games in the spring and get back to business in the fall?

Absolutely.

A chance to showcase players in a minimum of games with hardly anybody watching is a compromise.

The WHL and BCHL feel something is better than nothing.

Whether one agrees or not, it is hard to blame the leagues for at least attempting to put a product on the ice with the big “if” as long as it is safe to do so.

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Players for the Red Deer Rebels will live at the team’s rink in Alberta this season to reduce the COVID-19 risk. “Fine with us,” said every stay-at-home defenseman.

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

Four San Antonio Spurs tested positive for COVID-19. I suppose it’s sadly fitting for the team always known for their passing game.

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

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient beer factory in Egypt. A stone pad written in hieroglyphics was transcribed ‘not to be sold after the seventh inning.’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California


IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT

The world’s most famous circus declared bankruptcy. I’m talking about Cirque du Soleil, not the NY Jets.

*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