The Prince George Spruce Kings will not be opening their 27th B.C. Hockey League season on the first weekend of December, as originally planned.
New provincial health orders issued last week forbid team travel until midnight Dec. 7 and the league’s Return To Play Task Force has recommended pushing back the start date from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8.
“If the (provincial health office) extends their current restrictions beyond Dec. 7, we have the option of moving the start date to after the holidays, but it is our intention to begin play once the current order expires”, said BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb.
“Our objective from the beginning, when we worked out our COVID-19 Safety Plan with the PHO, was to allow our players to have a season, but we want to make sure it is under the safest conditions possible.”
The Spruce Kings were set to host the Merritt Centennials at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena, Dec. 4-5. The Kings and Cents were supposed to meet Saturday in Merritt in the final preseason game for both teams. The BCHL has cancelled the remainder of the exhibition season.
The league plans to release a revised schedule in the coming weeks.
“Should the season start be delayed past Dec. 8, the players that choose to go home for the holidays will be required to adhere to travel guidelines, including going into isolation for 14 days prior to joining their team,” said BCHL executive director Steven Cocker.