This is the 2020-21 British Columbia Hockey League season. This is the league's 30th season under this name and its 59th season overall dating back to the founding of the Okanagan Mainline Junior Hockey League in 1961.
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic[edit | edit source]
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has called into question the start of the league's season as the provincial government has more aggressive in terms of restrictions for public gatherings and social distancing that most of the rest of provincial and state governments in Canada and the United States. Several teams in the Western Hockey League and the British Columbia Hockey League have indicated if capacity is severely reduced or no spectators are allowed at games sitting out may be the less financial damaging choice as opposed to playing with reduced crowds. A capacity of 25% of normal capacity would be required for most teams to make an attempt to play. Teams are likely to request help from both the provincial and federal governments as junior hockey teams have traditionally had strong ties to their communities and restrictions on business and social gatherings have adversely affected businesses in their communities diminishing sponsorships and ticket sales.
The closure of the Canada-US border would likely put the Wenatchee Wild out of action for the season unless a temporary home in British Columbia could be worked out. Availability of American players is likely to be greatly reduced or non-existent as entry into Canada will most likely not be granted to amateur hockey players. On November 24th the team would formally announce they would not be playing for the 2020-21 season due to restrictions in place in the state of Washington and the closure of the Canada-US border which is unlikely to be re-opened until the spring of 2021 at the earliest.
The league was originally planning on a December 1st start but would have to revise the schedule when the provincial Health Office pushing the start of the season to a tentative December 8th start with the possibility of the season start into 2021 seeming to be a likely scenario.
Return to Play[edit | edit source]
On March 19th, the league announced a schedule that starts April 2nd and will run for five weeks. The schedule involves the sixteen teams that are playing this season in five pods with three or four teams in each pod playing only each other over the five weeks.
Cancellation of Playoffs[edit | edit source]
On April 27th the league issued a release stating that the league would not hold playoffs for the 2020-21 season when the pod schedules finished on May 11th.
Membership Changes[edit | edit source]
- The league announced on October 8, 2019 that the league would add the Cranbrook Bucks as an expansion team for the 2020-21 season. The team replaces the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League who relocated to Winnipeg for the 2019-20 season. The team will be based out of Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.
- Due to the Canadian-US border closure the Wenatchee Wild sit out the season.
Realignment[edit | edit source]
With the addition of the Cranbrook Bucks the league realigned from a 3 division format to a two conference nine team each format with the top eight teams in each conference qualifying for the playoffs.
Teams[edit | edit source]
Standings[edit | edit source]
Due to restrictions in place, the teams were placed into smaller pods which made up the only teams they played for the season.
Port Alberini Pod[edit | edit source]
|Alberni Valley Bulldogs||20||11||5||3||1||82||64||26||.650|
|Cowichan Valley Capitals||20||7||11||2||0||44||77||16||.400|
Coquitlam Pod[edit | edit source]
|Powell River Kings||20||7||11||1||1||65||94||16||.400|
Vernon Pod[edit | edit source]
|Salmon Arm Silverbacks||20||9||7||2||2||73||73||22||.550|
|West Kelowna Warriors||20||8||10||1||1||58||72||18||.450|
Penticton Pod[edit | edit source]
|Trail Smoke Eaters||20||9||11||0||0||47||72||18||.450|
Chilliwack Pod[edit | edit source]
|Prince George Spruce Kings||20||14||5||0||1||74||37||29||.725|
Fred Page Cup Playoffs[edit | edit source]
Format[edit | edit source]
With the slight realignment of the conferences for the 2020-21 season the playoff format was modified. Sixteen of the seventeen teams will qualify for the playoffs.The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs with the traditional 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5 match-ups. Teams are re-seeded after the first round. A 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 format is used in the conference semifinals. Conference semifinal winners meet in the conference final and the conference winners meet in the Fred Page Cup final. All series are best-of-seven. Traditionally, the Fred Page Cup winners advance to the Doyle Cup against the champion of the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs for a spot in the Centennial Cup, however the 2021 Centennial Cup was cancelled by Hockey Canada on February 5th. No official word if the Doyle Cup will still be contested due to the cancellation of the national championship.
The league playoffs would be cancelled by the league on April 27th.
References[edit | edit source]