The BCHL Board of Governors has announced a league realignment set for next season with the entry of the Cranbrook Bucks into the fold.
The league will move from it’s current three divisions to two conferences, split between Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland franchises in one group and Interior franchises in another group.
That will see each conference — Coastal and Interior — feature nine teams a side.
“With Cranbrook coming into the league next year, the league and the Board recognized the need to alter our current divisional alignment,” said BCHL Executive Director Steven Cocker. “The new format makes the most sense geographically and is a logical step for the future of the BCHL.”
Additional changes include shortening the league schedule to 54 games, a four-game reduction from the current format, as well as starting the season later in September.
“The decision to reduce our games next season to 54 was a difficult move but, with our league mandate around player safety, we see this as what’s best for the development of our players,” said Cocker. “This will also result in fewer 3-in-3 weekends and proper rest between games in order to maximize time for practice and recovery.”
“Another important component of the schedule was getting out of the month of August, our camps will now open in early September with season openers at the end of the month. We feel this will best serve our athletes in their out-of-season development.”