BCHL makes changes at AGM

A longer schedule and rigid equipment rules were two motions coming out of last week's BCHL AGM in Richmond.

The British Columbia Hockey League held its 2013 annual general meeting last week in Richmond, with the board of governors agreeing on several on and off-ice changes.

The league will move to a 58 game schedule in 2013-14, up two from last year. Each team will play 28 home and away games, plus two at the BCHL Showcase, being held in Chilliwack in September.

A playoff structure hasn’t been agreed upon yet.

Last season’t format didn’t sit will with a lot of clubs, particularly those in the Coastal conference. Those teams had to play three playoff series (two best-of-fives and a best-of-seven) to reach the BCHL championship series, while the Interior conference required two best-of-sevens.

Teams are being asked to submit their ideas, and a new format will be announced before the BCHL Showcase.

The league has made a change regarding its trade deadline media policy.

Teams will be allowed to announce transactions as soon as all players involved have been notified. Last year’s trades, including the one sending Phil Zielonka to Chilliwack, weren’t announced by teams until the following day.

An equipment change will see all players using Bauer Supreme Team sticks. The league recently signed an equipment agreement with Bauer. Teams will face escalating fines if their players use anything else.

For protective gear such as helmets and padding, teams will be allowed to use up the remaining new equipment from previous seasons, but future orders will be made through Bauer.

And finally, National Hockey League linesman Brad Lazarowich has signed on as the BCHL’s associate director of officiating, joining head director Derek Adams. Lazarowich monitored and provided mentorship to young officials last season and will continue as a resource in developing the officiating program.