BCHL makes move to curb roster shuffle

Restrictions to trading and signings will make life more difficult for the Chilliwack Chiefs and general manager Jason Tatarnic.

The BCHL’s annual general meeting passed last week with little big news.

The playoff format will stay the same, and the league is still committed to the junior A supplement, a document which determines discipline on dangerous hits and fighting.

Chilliwack Chiefs president Glen Ringdal was named the league’s 2014 executive of the year, and he’s a big reason the BCHL Showcase will return to Chilliwack for a third straight year, running Sept. 19-21 at Prospera Centre.

From a hockey ops perspective, Chiefs head coach and general manager Jason Tatarnic was most interested in rule changes around transactions.

The BCHL wants to reduce player movement, and has introduced restrictions to curb deal-happy GMs.

“They want the roster you start with to be the one you finish with,” Tatarnic explained. “The goal is to make you more accountable for your roster, which I like.”

The major change is a reduction of ‘cards’ from 45 to 35 per team, combined with a transaction cap. A ‘card’ is used when a player is signed by a junior A team.

The Chiefs are allowed to carry 22 players on the regular season roster, leaving 23 cards to be spread around.

When a player is signed, that’s a card.

When a player is acquired, a card is required, and when a player is traded, that card is gone.

At the same time, the league is limiting teams to eight player trades during the regular season.

Each player involved in a trade counts towards that number. So for instance, if the Chiefs trade player A for players B, C and D, the team has burned four of those eight transactions.

And four cards.

“Say I’ve made five transactions from the first day of the season up to Jan. 10,” Tatarnic said. “If I want to make a futures deal with another league, I have to have a transaction available for each player in the deal.”

One other change concerns future trades.

Any player who’s dealt as futures can’t play for his original team the following year. So for instance, Shay Laurent was dealt to Coquitlam in the 2012-13 Phil Zielonka trade deadline deal and found his way back to the Chiefs early the next year.

That can’t happen now.

“What we’ve found is a lot of those kids never really end up with their new teams,” Tatarnic said. “I believe if you put a player up for trade, then that’s it. You’re trading him.”

Get more BCHL AGM info online at bchl.ca