This week we delve into the world of junior hockey politics starting with our friendly KIJHL governors who say they now have 20 teams and don’t want any more.
Enter Tom Bachynski of the 100 Mile House Wranglers Jr. B Hockey Club Society who one way or another intends to wrangle his way into the league next year. Bachynski hopes to move a team to 100 Mile next summer and says that he has had talks with as many as three un-named existing teams about moving. Now that’s a dangerous news story for a private owner to have floating around in the local papers. If the fans and the volunteers who do all the game-day jobs etc. ever find out their team is moving, good luck running the team at a profit this season. Just ask the fans in Chase and Summerland who still say they feel the blood trickling down their backs after their teams slinked out the back door a couple of summers ago. That made for lots of interesting reading on the web sites.
Now another way for 100 Mile to get a team is to start a northern division, or if the KIJHL won’t cooperate, start their very own league. With both Williams Lake and Quesnel now out of the Jr. “A” BCHL there are easily enough towns in the hockey starved Peace Cariboo to support a league. The KIJHL may have to concede and start a northern division because the last thing anyone needs is another league. Actually, what we need is to have the three existing leagues join together as one gaining a much stronger voice at the BC Hockey meetings, but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, the betting here is 100 Mile will get their team.
Even more politics, the only BCHL team left up north is in 1000 Mile House (better known as Prince George) where they should have been offered an electric chair to go along with their new league rules. This season only 4 teams per division make the playoffs and Prince George probably won’t be one of them. Now add in the new schedule they had forced down their throats because no one wants to bus that far for just one game so now 20 of their 30 home games are double headers. Try selling that in the dead of winter when you’re 10 points out of a playoff spot.