The road to the RBC Cup won’t get any easier, but it will take a new path, starting in Nanaimo in 2013.
No longer will the BCHL champion challenge the Alberta champion for the Doyle Cup.
Rather, the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced a new regional playoff format for its four western provinces beginning in 2013. The BCHL, Alberta Junior, Saskatchewan and Manitoba junior A leagues will play in the five-team Western Canadian Championship.
The host city, selected ahead of time through a bid process, will earn an automatic berth in the Western championship, alongside the champion from each of the four western leagues. The top two teams, the winner and runner-up, will qualify for the RBC Cup national championship.
After Nanaimo, the Western championship will move to Manitoba in 2014, Alberta in 2015 and Saskatchewan in 2016.
There are 10 leagues and over 130 teams competing in Canadian Junior Hockey league.