BCHL increases schedule and adds Lazarowich as director

Changes to BCHL includes increasing schedule to 58 games

After reducing its schedule from 60 games to 56, the British Columbia Hockey League has re-upped it to a 58-game schedule in 2013-14.

That was among the changes the league made during its annual general meeting held in Richmond. Teams will play two games that count in the standings at the Bauer BCHL Showcase Sept. 6 to 8 in Chilliwack, then play 28 home and away dates to complete the regular season.

Penticton Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson, who couldn’t be reached for comment, said back in January of 2012 that he wasn’t in favor of reducing the schedule for the junior A circuit.

“You don’t want to make it like a Mickey Mouse league,” he said.

No playoff structure has been agreed upon for the upcoming campaign. Teams are being asked to submit their ideas with a format to be announced before the showcase.

The league has also changed its media policy surrounding the Jan. 10 roster deadline. For any given transaction, teams can release information to the media as soon as they have made the league office aware that all players involved have been notified.

The league’s referees received a boost as NHL linesman Brad Lazarowich has signed on as the  league’s officiating program as associate director of officiating to head director Derek Adams. Lazarowich monitored and provided mentorship to young officials last season during the NHL lockout.

The BCHL has reached an equipment deal with Bauer. With it, players will use the Bauer Supreme Team Stick. Failure to comply results in financial penalties to the club. These will escalate with repeat offences. For protective gear, teams are allowed to use remaining new equipment from previous seasons with the understanding that future orders will be made through Bauer.

When it comes to the season, the Vees will start on Sept. 6 against the Victoria Grizzlies during the showcase.

The Canadian Junior Hockey League made some announcements following its  annual general meeting in late May. They implemented new policies. Among them are  are sanctions for payment of players, a “not-in-good-standing” list for players refusing to report to a team after a CJHL Player Transfer Agreement, and new import rules including players with Canadian citizenship shall not be considered an import. Import numbers will be reduced from  seven to six after 2013-14.

Should a team require special assistance through any unusual situation which develops, the Chair of Hockey Canada or his designate may permit a team to register and play Imports in addition to the number of Imports permitted under Regulation K.30.1(c), using the same criteria set out in By-Laws 1214(a), (b) and (d).