It’s time to make sure your suits have gone to the cleaners, and your ties are pressed and ready to go. The annual summer funeral season begins early in 2022 with the KIJHL’s Spokane Braves.
Usually this kind of thing waits until September when teams decide to screw their league partners into having to remake their league schedules at the last minute multiple times. Usually teams lie all summer about how great recruiting is going and then pull the rug out from everyone just before or right after the season begins.
In this regard, the Spokane Braves should be commended. They did the right thing the right way, at the right time. Now the KIJHL can move forward without too much trouble.
A league statement said the following;
“The Braves have been working hard over the last number of months in preparation to rejoin the KIJHL this fall and celebrate their 50th season,” says Commissioner Jeff Dubois. “The Braves’ primary challenge has been recruiting players at a time when athletes and team staff must be fully vaccinated in order to enter into Canada. Despite their best efforts, the Braves look unlikely to be able to fill a roster of players who meet that requirement, and we reached a point where a decision needed to be made as to whether our season would proceed with or without Spokane. To be clear, we fully support those measures that have been taken to keep our communities safe from COVID, and we look forward to the Spokane Braves rejoining the KIJHL as soon as they are able to do so.”
“The Spokane Braves are very disappointed that we will not be hitting the ice in September as planned,” says Braves owner Bob Tobiason. “We thank all our volunteers, sponsors and prospective players for their continued understanding and patience, and we remain committed to competing as the KIJHL’s lone American team in 2023.”
Will the Spokane Braves return in 2023? That’s a big question. With fewer junior players getting vaccinated in recent months it will be a difficult task for Spokane to return, and if they couldn’t reach a full roster at this time recruiting will become more difficult in the future.
COVID vaccination rates among young adults has plummeted in recent months, and athletes in particular have avoided vaccination.
Considering that Spokane could not reach recruiting goals now, when most players have at least some vaccination, will make next year much more difficult as players do not get booster shots and less will be considered fully vaccinated.
With the first team of the season making its funeral procession, we remind readers to send flowers when possible, and remember to support your local undertaker.