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An Advisers Life – VIJHL Also Applies For Junior A Status

The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League has now joined the KIJHL in applying to BC Hockey for Junior A or Tier II status under Hockey Canada. It is expected that the Pacific Junior Hockey League will also be making their application official in the coming days.

We were the first to report that these three leagues would be seeking to replace the BCHL as the Junior A or TierII loop in British Columbia. All three leagues are not going to be given Junior A status. It is simply not going to happen.

There are twenty teams in the KIJHL, fourteen teams in the PJHL, and eleven teams in the VIJHL. Fourty five Junior A or Tier II teams in British Columbia is not a sustainable number of teams. It is not even close to sustainable or even reasonable.

What we know for sure is that BC Hockey has met with and had in depth discussions with all three of these leagues. We also know that a new Junior A or Tier II league will in fact be made real to replace and directly compete with the BCHL.

What we dont know yet is if BC Hockey and Hockey Canada will take the best operators from these leagues and form a new league.

What makes sense? What can make this new league successful? These are the questions people should be asking instead of just cheering from their teams sidelines.

What makes sense is that the CJHL has probably given BC Hockey some guidelines of what they would accept in a new Junior A league joining the CJHL ranks.

Those guidelines would absolutely include financial requirements for ownership. Organizational and operational requirements for any approved group, and best practices for operations.

Any new league being formed is not just being formed to compete with the BCHL, but it is being formed to eventually become a member of the CJHL. That CJHL membership allows this new league to eventually play for National Championships and be involved in other CJHL events like the Top Prospects event.

So, what is going to happen? Assuming the PJHL also makes their application for Junior A status.

The only way that this new league works is if only the most wealthy and best operators are chosen to participate regardless of which league they are currently in. In order for that to happen, the KIJHL, VIJHL and PJHL need to be willing to let those members leave without any penalty in order to for this new league.

The new league should not be any larger than twenty total teams and no expansion beyond those twenty teams should be allowed to take place for at least five years.

Sterict limitations on the number of American born players should be put in place for this new league and high minimum numbers of British Columbia residents must also be in place.

In order to compete with the BCHL, any new league will have to do a better job or developing British Columbia players. It is that simple. This new league has to buy into the local player development model, and then this new league will be something more than the BCHL has ever been.

For the most part all of these teams and leagues already buy into the local player development concept. The KIJHL and PJHL develop a lot of players locally that move on to higher levels. The VIJHL, not as many move on, but they do stay local.

If this new league can adopt these base ideals, they will, in less than 24 months, start seeing BCHL players cross over. Those players want to be competing in National events.

Its going to get more interesting as we move along toward the start of the season. We will update this story as it moves forward.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

[email protected]

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