Minor hockey is unlikely to be rushed back into action, even if Vancouver is picked as a hub city for the NHL playoffs. (BLACK PRESS file photo)

NHL return unlikely to affect minor hockey in B.C.: officials

Minor sports remain part of Phase 4 of Restart Plan

The possible return of professional hockey to B.C. if Vancouver is approved as a hub city is unlikely to affect minor hockey in the province, according to association officials.

Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry endorsed a proposal to make Vancouver a playoff hub city for the NHL’s proposed return for playoff hockey in July, leading to questions if hockey at other levels will return sooner than expected.

BC Hockey officials, however, don’t expect that to happen.

“Totally two separate scenarios, but that would be a question for the Health Authority who are outlining both situations,” BC Hockey’s Keegan Goodrich said in an email to Black Press Media.

“I’m sure they have the measures in place should the NHL return to Vancouver (Create the bubble etc.) that aren’t possible to achieve in Amateur hockey. Comparison of a few hundred people in NHL games to 50,000+ people who play amateur hockey in B.C.”

BC Hockey is following guidelines outlined by viaSport and Hockey Canada, Goodrich noted.

ViaSport’s guidelines are set by the provincial health authority. Organized sports are expected to return as part of Phase Four of the provincial government’s Restart Plan, which is conditional upon either wide vaccination, community immunity or broad successful treatments.

Phase Two is currently being implemented.

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