The BCHL left Hockey Canada this past summer of 2023. Good for them. Autonomy is one of the reasons the league made to move. Who can blame anyone for wanting self governance. In that one respect, good on them, and its a business decision that actually has value.
The rest of the reasons the BCHL used for leaving Hockey Canada are simply not supported by their own facts publicly available for this season. The reasons five teams from the AJHL have now joined the BCHL are also not supported by the facts of reasons stated by the BCHL for wanting to be autonomous.
Six of the top ten in BCHL scoring are American players. Thirteen of the top twenty scorers are American. Only ONE of the Canadian born players in the top twenty of scoring is from British Columbia. The other Canadian players in the top twenty are from Quebec and Ontario.
So that talking point of wanting to develop more British Columbia players really is not turning into much of a factual matter when you look at the rosters of each team.
Another talking point in the BCHL’s and now five teams from the AJHL leaving Hockey Canada was having access to high end European and Asian players.
TJHN said that the idea of atracting high end European and Asian players was not going to happen. It never will happen because the BCHL has no clue how European junior hockey operates. It will never happen because there are plenty of scouts in Europe and players do not need to leave home to get great scouting. In fact, European scouting is arguably better than that in the BCHL.
Once again the BCHL’s publicly available facts point out that they were wrong about European players.
There is only ONE European player in the top fifty of BCHL scoring. There is a total of FOUR Europeans in the top one hundred of BCHL scoring. Where is the access to high calibre talent? It doesnt exist and will never happen.
These trends continue for goalies in the BCHL. In the top ten goalies in the BCHL only three of them are from British Columbia. Only one from Europe. There is only one other European that even cracks the top thirty of BCHL goaltenders. Once again we ask, where are all the great European players the BCHL was talking about?
The teams joining the BCHL from the AJHL had to have done this homework. If they didnt, then they deserve what they get. If they did, then this move to the BCHL is based on nothing more than raiding the other Provinces in Canada of talented players, and raiding the United States of players.
The BCHL is not and will never be as good as the USHL. The fact is that players who wash out of the USHL go to the BCHL and dominate because it is a lower level league. The BCHL frankly is not even on par with the NAHL any more and many of us would wager large sums of money that the BCHL could not handle the physical pounding of an NAHL season.
This move by the BCHL to announce this mid season, and of the five AJHL teams allowing it to be announced mid season says a lot about the character of the people involved.
Everyone involved knew that this was a bombshell. Everyone knew that by doing this they would be placing every players season at risk on those five AJHL teams. Frankly it was gutless to not tell the AJHL and if every team is suspended from the AJHL they will deserve the absolute disaster of the remainder of a season they will have. This was a bush league move.
Now the AJHL has cancelled more games for today that effect the five teams involved. Maybe now, people will see how absolutely selfish these teams acted and now the players are suffering for it.
But the BCHL also has some surprises coming their way.
At least three and as many as seven current BCHL teams have inquired with BC Hockey and Hockey Canada about leaving the BCHL and returning to the new Tier II league being formed in British Columbia under BC Hockey and Hockey Canada. This story is long from over.
Imagine now if Hockey Canada and the CJHL teams decide to allow a limited number of European players into the other leagues.
Imagine now if the IIHF mandates that participation in IIHF events is only allowed for players who play within their country’s sanctioning body leagues.
Dont think its possible?
If the action of these five AJHL teams proves anything, is that anything is possible.