Column: BCHL commissioner’s job not an easy one

Jacob Bestebroer talks about soon-to-be former BCHL boss John Grisdale and the challenges he’s faced.

Chilliwack Chiefs radio colour-man Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column during the hockey season discussing the Chiefs, the BCHL and goings-on around the junior A world.

The big news in the BCHL this week was the announcement that BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale will be retiring after this season.

The job of commissioner for any sports league, pro or amateur, is not an easy one and I applaud him for performing those duties since 2003.

As the commissioner you are the boss, kind of, sort of. The problem is you answer to each of the team owners/governors.

You can have a very good vision of where you want to take the league, but without the backing of the majority that task becomes extremely difficult.

Fans will blame the commissioner for everything from perceived bad refereeing to the ever-changing playoff format the league has had over the last few years.

These things are not always the fault of that office.

Compare his job to that of a bus driver tasked with getting 17 passengers to a destination he knows they all need to get to. The next turn for the bus is a right one. As you near the turn, nine of the 17 passengers vote to turn left instead of right.

This happens because they put their team’s best interests ahead of the best interests of the league, and his hands are tied. That bus is going to turn left instead of right and I can only imagine how frustrating that can be.

John and I have had our differences of opinion.

He hasn’t always liked what I’ve said during Chiefs broadcasts. I haven’t agreed with his position or the manner in which he has voiced that to me. But we’ve managed to move past that and I wish him all the best.

Two games for the Chiefs this weekend, both at Prospera Centre. Friday night the Surrey Eagles are in town followed by a Sunday visit by the West Kelowna Warriors.

Note the start time on Sunday is 5 p.m.

Prior to Wednesday’s game in Vernon, the Chiefs trailed the third place Eagles by five points but had two games in hand. The Eagles have lost five of their last six including lopsided losses in their last two games. Tuesday they dropped a road game to the Warriors 8-2. Last Thursday they were defeated 6-0 by the Coquitlam Express on home ice.

The Warriors have a record that is just a bit above .500 but don’t let that fool you. They are in an extremely tough division with four teams (Penticton, Trail, Wenatchee and Vernon) that have a real chance of playing in the RBC Cup here in May. If the Warriors were in either of the other two divisions, they’d have a much better record.

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

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