Last week it was the WHL.

This week it is the BCHL.

Both leagues have confirmed the speculation that playoffs will not happen in 2021.

This announcement, while disappointing, is not a surprise.

Owners have spent enough of their own money just to give players a taste of a season.

This brings up the question, what does the 2020-21 regular season mean if there is no post-season?

The arguable answer is not much.

Bragging rights perhaps but little else.

In the BCHL, the PG Spruce Kings, with six games left, could very well win their 3-team hub in Chilliwack.

If they do, there will be some recognition which is nothing more than a token gesture.

In a news release, the league says “In place of the playoffs and year-end awards, a champion from each pod will be determined based on points or point percentage if there is a disparity in games played. There will also be a set of individual awards handed out in each pod, including Most Valuable Player, Top Defenseman, Top Goalie, Top Rookie, and Top Scorer.

The (10-3-0-1) Spruce Kings are a point ahead of the (10-5) Chilliwack Chiefs with a game in hand.

It is clear, Prince George is considerably better than the (2-13) Merritt Centennials going a perfect 7-0 against the Centennials so far this season.

Even though they are 3-3-0-1 against the Chiefs, they can even feel they have a slight edge on Chilliwack because of the standings.

Is P.G. really as good as its record, or is Merritt that bad?

The same question can be asked in the Penticton pod where the hometown Vees are 13-1-0-1 as they have been feasting on both the (7-8) Trail Smoke Eaters and the (2-11) Cranbrook Bucks.

With a 6-0-0-1 record against Cranbrook, are the expansion Bucks much competition for the Vees?

The BCHL was given little choice but to go with five Pods (four of them with three teams and one with four teams).

Playing 20 games against just two teams with no playoffs is hardly worth any big celebration but then again any player will tell you first is better than second and dramatically better than third (last) no matter the level of competition.


In the WHL, how do we stack the 12-3 Kamloops Blazers against the 7-2 Kelowna Rockets when one team has played six more games and the Rockets will not make most of them up through no fault of anyone.

Yes, of course, there is always a winning percentage but the sample size is so small it does not hold a lot of weight.

The Blazers can feel like they are the best in the BC Hub, but is that in part because COVID-19 did not hit them like it did the Rockets?

The 6-7-1-1 PG Cougars have shown they are better than Victoria going 3-0-1 against the Royals but they have struggled against the Blazers (1-4) and Rockets (0-2).  The Cats have also gone 2-1-0-1 in four meetings with the (9-7) Giants, who have all of a sudden lost four in a row.

Can the Cougars go away from the Kamloops hub feeling like they made progress?

Sure they can, depending on what one wants to use as a measuring stick.

Last year, the WHL season ended abruptly with no conclusion and no playoffs.

At least though teams got the vast majority of their regular season schedule in.

This year, some teams will get a maximum of 24 games, the Cougars will be among those with 22 and others like the Rockets will play as few as 18.

All teams believe they are going to be better and more prepared for the 2021-22 season because of the small number of games they were allowed to play in the spring.

The WHL will recognize Division champions starting with the Brandon Wheat Kings who went 18-4-2 in the East.

It’s unfortunate the WHL and BCHL will not be able to crown real champions again but that is the reality of the situation.

For now, each team can assess their record, their competitiveness, and their development of young talent.

Come the fall, there will be another “fresh” start with the hope the worst is now behind us.


Bob Simmons is the Prince George Cougars Director of Scouting who has an RCMP background with ties to the Royal Family. In this week’s Cat Scan podcast you will hear:

  • Simmons interactions with the Royal Family
  • How scouts are viewing players during the pandemic
  • Simmons thoughts on the Cougars young core
  • Who has the final say on making Bantam Draft selections?

Taking Note:



LA Lakers owner Jeannie Buss made a list of her all-time important Lakers and not on this list is Jerry West. That’s like leaving Bugs Bunny off of a list of all-time important rabbits.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

The Milwaukee Bucks are offering free COVID-19 vaccine first Pfizer shot to eligible fans on Saturday night (with a second shot appointment to be scheduled). Wonder if the Houston Rockets had the same idea, but figured none of their fans would trust them to make any shot?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. will miss a few games after violating the NBA’s health safety protocols by visiting a Miami strip club. Any possible fines, we assume, will be paid in $1 bills.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times


A British woman reportedly took her long-dead father’s ashes to the bank to stop their harassment over his $9.17 overdraft debt that had compounded to $955.31. Talk about urned interest.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie

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
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks