Monday, June 9, 2014

BCHL Releases Details from 2014 Annual General Meeting.

The BC Hockey League made public today the results of its annual general meeting, which wrapped up Saturday in Richmond.

A few details from the AGM were pretty much already confirmed, namely the implementation of the one-fight rule and the fact that the Bauer BCHL Showcase is in Chilliwack once again next season.

We knew the Showcase would be in Chilliwack this season, but what we didn't know was the exact dates. It's interesting to note that the start of the season is two weeks later than last year, with the Showcase running September 19th, 20th and 21st at Prospera Centre.

The one-fight rule is polarizing among teams, fans and media as to whether it's a good idea, but basically it means if players drop the gloves in any game, they'll be ejected.

According to DropYourGloves.com, the BCHL saw 180 fights in the regular season and playoff combined, with Langley's Brendan Gulka, Surrey's Colton Mackie, Trail's Bryan Balsilico, West Kelowna's Mac Ferner, Salmon Arm's Jack Berezan and Nanaimo's Devin Brosseau leading the way with five each.

Here is last October's release from the CJHL regarding the rule:
The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Board of Directors has overwhelmingly voted to support an automatic game misconduct for fighting (the one-fight rule) and new national minimum discipline guidelines. 
"The co-operation among our leagues and partners for standardized fighting rules and consistent discipline guidelines across all Junior A leagues is a significant step in the continuing development and evolution of the CJHL and Junior A hockey in Canada," said CJHL President Kirk Lamb.  "We will work closely with our stakeholders and key partners, such as Hockey Canada and provincial branches, on bringing these endorsements forward for consideration."
One-Fight Rule Endorsed as National Standard
The CJHL supports the automatic game misconduct penalty for fighting.   The automatic game misconduct penalty, commonly known as the 'one-fight rule', results in a 5-minute major as well as the immediate ejection of the player from the game.   Five CJHL leagues – SIJHL, NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL and LHJAAAQ – are currently using this rule.  In five other CJHL leagues – BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL and MHL – a player's first fighting penalty results in the same 5-minute major penalty, but does not carry with it in an automatic ejection from the game.  In those leagues, the automatic game ejection occurs after a player's second fight in the same game.   A move to a national rule for fighting would see all 10 CJHL leagues operate under the same automatic game misconduct penalty for fighting.
The note about roster stability is certainly open to interpretation, the wording is pretty vague. Last year saw a decrease in player transfers throughout the season and also at the January 10th carding deadline. Each of the 16 BCHL teams are striving to win the RBC Cup and will likely make any player transfer to improve their fortunes, regardless of the league's direction. It's definitely something to watch for as the 2014-15 season rolls on.

Here's the release from the BCHL regarding this year's AGM:

The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) held its annual general meeting (AGM) June 5 to 7 in Richmond, B.C. and has confirmed solidarity from all clubs on issues regarding roster composition, player safety, scheduling and playoff structure.

Roster stability and reduction of player transactions are primary goals for the BCHL. Representatives of each club at the AGM strongly supported the league’s direction to keep players on the teams they are recruited to for the start of each season.

The league will continue following the Junior A Supplement document which determines discipline on dangerous hits and fighting. Players will be ejected from a game following a fight. The Supplement was created by the four western Junior A leagues and will be followed by all 128 Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) teams across the 10 Junior A leagues next season.

The BCHL will continue with the same playoff format as this past season. Again, this will see best-of-seven playoff action in Rounds 1 and 2, a three-team round robin in Round 3 designed to eliminate one team and a best-of-seven Fred Page Cup final between the two teams surviving Round 3. Dates of game nights and structure of the best-of-seven series will be determined by competing playoff clubs when matchups are determined.

A Scheduling Committee was established that will meet during the 2014-15 regular season.  The Committee’s mandate will be to review, establish guidelines and to make recommendations to the BCHL Board of Governors for consideration and possible implementation in preparation for the 2015 BCHL AGM scheduling sessions.  The Scheduling Committee is made up of Governors and Coaches from each of the three BCHL Divisions.

For the third-straight season, the Bauer BCHL Showcase will take place, running Sept. 19 to 21 at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. All games played at the Showcase will count in the regular-season standings and a large contingent of NCAA coaches, professional scouts and Canadian university representatives are again expected to attend.

BCHL regular-season games will begin Friday, Sept. 26 and finish Sunday, March 1, 2015.

Congratulations are also in order for Chilliwack Chiefs governor Glen Ringdal who was named the 2014 BCHL Executive of the Year. Ringdal, whose career has seen him work for the B.C. Lions and Vancouver Canucks, is a tireless worker on the league’s Strategic Planning committee and has developed several valuable initiatives that will grow the BCHL brand into the future.

Talks on each team’s 2014-15 schedule are well underway and a final league grid should be in place before the end of June. 

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