The BC Hockey League is requesting financial assistance from the B.C. Government.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCHL is hoping to offset “major losses” for its teams because of the league’s shutdown.

Following the first round of the BCHL Playoffs, the league was forced to cancel the rest of the season as Hockey Canada indefinitely shut down all sanctioned events. The shutdown was effective on March 13, 2019.

“We have every intention of playing hockey next season, with all 18 of our teams, if we get the green light from Hockey Canada as well as the provincial health authorities,” said Chris Hebb, BCHL Commissioner. “But, the reality is we’ve identified potential financial issues down the road due to this pandemic and want to address these problems now.”

As a result of Hockey Canada’s shutdown, all BCHL teams can’t operate their annual spring camps, which served as a major source of revenue for the clubs.

“The league has already lent its support to our teams through a contingency fund, but it’s clear that more is needed.”

The BCHL said uncertainty heading into the 2020/21 season also isn’t helping, as teams can’t rely on the same level of ticket revenue from seasons past or the same number of corporate sponsors.

“We are seeking the support of the B.C. Government and are merely asking for a meeting to explain the economic, social and cultural impact of our teams on the 17 B.C. communities they represent,” said Graham Fraser, Chairman of the BCHL Board of Governors.

The BCHL said they have gathered letters of support from all mayors in their markets, along with the District of Kitimat, where the league hosted the BCHL Road Show in February.

The Cranbrook Bucks are the newest franchise in the BCHL, and are destined to play their inaugural season in the league in 2020/21.