Its a big weekend for Pancreatic Cancer. Merritt is hosting a hotdog sale at Coopers on Saturday and a 5 km walk on Sunday. Its raising funds for the Princess Margaret Hospital. Organizer Tanya Simpson says Pancreatic Cancer is a silent killer.
The British Columbia Hockey League has announced several significant changes with regards to its schedule, playoffs and team roster rules that are aimed at improving cost efficiency and player development for member clubs.
The changes come about as a result of a recent meeting of the BCHL board of governors.
With respect to playoffs, the following changes are being made:
- There will be eight teams that qualify for playoffs, four from each conference. This will accommodate the conclusion of the season being later and ensure a team is available when the Doyle Cup begins.
- There will be just three rounds of playoffs as one round is being eliminated. This is meant to promote competitiveness in opening rounds though this change is on a trial basis and will be reviewed after the end of next season.
With respect to the schedule, the following changes are being made so BCHL games are more accessible for fans and teams can trim travel costs:
- The 2011-12 season will begin later. Games will commence Sept. 23 and will conclude March 11 to coincide with the more traditional hockey season. Teams will be given an option to hold training camp starting in August as usual or push it back to September.
- The league will be going back to a half-interlock schedule that will see each team play every other team but not necessarily visit all buildings. Regional rivalry games will be given more attention.
- The BCHL office will be producing the schedule for the coming season. This will allow weekend dates to be maximized and may see occasional earlier start times on Saturdays to promote attendance by families. It will also ensure reduced travel for clubs with double-headers (i.e. playing the same opponent in their building Friday and Saturday) being incorporated.
With respect to team rosters, the following changes will be implemented for the coming season:
- Roster will be reduced to 21 players from 23 as in past years. This will promote player development and ensure more players dress for more games.
- Each team must carry at least one 16-year-old and one 17-year-old player. This is an effort to develop homegrown B.C. players as with the reduced roster size, these younger players are guaranteed to dress for games.
- An October selection of affiliate players will be held. It is not a true draft and is meant to simply introduce 15-year-old players to the BCHL and keep them on affiliate rosters for the season. At the conclusion of the season, teams will not keep rights to these players.
“We’re confident these ideas will be embraced by our member clubs as we continue to work through our strategic plan,” said league commissioner John Grisdale. “The BCHL looks forward to implementing these changes and improving the product we put on the ice next season.”
The application for a tax agreement for a Solid Waste and Recycling program has been recommended at last night's Merritt City Councill meeting.
Councillor Dave Baker says it would include a truck and bins for both garbage and recycling.
The new truck would have arms in order to remove the manual aspect of garbage pick up.
It may have been a drizzly weekend, but Fire Information Officer Michaela Swan says the wet weather helped the fire conditions in the Merritt Nicola Valley area.
75 new recruits are west of Merritt at the Nicola Base today to start round 3 of the fire training boot camps.
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack hockey team announced the resignation of head coach Lorne Cumming, who is a former Merritt Centennials player.
Cumming guided the club to first place with a 19-4-1 record before losing the BCIHL final to Simon Fraser University.
Despite the loss, Cumming was named the league's coach of the year.
(With files from CHNL)