Langley Rivermen opt out of BCHL ‘pod’ season

Statement cites ‘mental and physical health implications’

Langley Rivermen have opted out of the 2021 BCHL season.

After the league announced play would resume under a ‘pod’ concept, where three to four teams will play each other in five different locations across the province, the Langley team issued a statement on social media.

“After discussions with each player, the Rivermen made the tough decision not to play,” read the statement, posted March 13.

“There are variety of reasons behind the decision, including education commitments and the mental and physical health implications of both the 14 days of isolation, followed by a five-week strictly controlled season.”

Some Rivermen players will get ice time on other teams, the announcement indicated.

“We are grateful for the BCHL for allowing the remaining teams to fill their rosters with loaned Rivermen players.”

READ ALSO: Putting their season on pause: why the Langley Rivermen aren’t playing

BC Hockey League (BCHL) Board of Governors had approved a shortened 2020-21 season under COVID-19 restrictions after the Provincial Health Office (PHO) accepted the league’s proposal for a safe return to play plan.

The BCHL hired a Chief Medical Officer who will oversee all COVID-19 safety protocols for the five-week season, including testing and a quarantine period for players and team staff.

READ ALSO: Langley Rivermen go with all-Canadian roster during pandemic

The condensed season is to begin the first week of April.

Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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