Dozens of fans took to the ice at George Preston arena Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, for a traditional post-game skate with the Langley Rivermen (Langley Advance Times file )

Rivermen are raring to go back on the ice

Langley gets ready to open training camp

As he prepares to get his team back on the ice, Langley Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson is dealing with a lot of uncertainty, the result of the COVID-19 pandemic that will likely mean some major changes when play resumes in December.

“There’s still lots of questions and not a lot of answers,” Henderson told the Langley Advance Times.

Henderson said the new version of the team will be a bit younger, and, possibly, bigger than the team he helmed last season, but the details will depend on who does how well when practices begin at the Lodge arena in the George Preston Recreation Centre on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

“There’s still a lot of balls in the air,” Henderson commented.

READ ALSO: Langley Rivermen’s season being planned around potential second-wave of COVID

He said the players he’s spoken to are “grateful” to be getting back in action.

“They’re just happy to be active and working again.”

Tentatively, they will be playing for an audience when the season starts, but it will be smaller, about a quarter of the usual amount in order to preserve distancing.

As proposed, ticket sales would be limited to 25 per cent of capacity on a first-come, first-serve basis, which gives the Rivermen room for a maximum of 280 fans in the building at one time.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Skate brings Rivermen and fans together

If health authorities decide a bigger percentage can be admitted safely, the limit will be raised.

When the BC Hockey League (BCHL) announced it was planning to start the 2020-21 regular season on Dec. 1, BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb said waiting until December gave them the ” best chance at ensuring we have an uninterrupted season, while also maximizing the amount of regular-season games we’ll be able to play.”

A lot depends on whether there is a second wave of coronovirus, explained BCHL Board of Directors chairman Graham Fraser.

Fraser said it became clear from BCHL discussions with the provincial health office (PHO), that the best way to allow spectators to be in the stands, would be to delay the start of season to give the PHO time to assess the effects of a potential second wave of COVID-19 during flu season.

Once the province moves Phase three of viaSport BC’s Return to Play model, exhibition competition with other BCHL teams will be expanded.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHLCoronavirusLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

How Langley football star Chase Claypool was nicknamed “Mapletron”

A reference to all-time NFL great Calvin Johnson Jr.

Air quality across the Lower Mainland could worsen slightly

AQ health index could see ‘low risk’ gravitate into ‘moderate risk’ from Vancouver to Hope

Langley invited to take part in virtual National Seniors Day gathering

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons invites people to take part in an Oct. 1 event online

ELECTION: Libertarian Alex Joehl to run in Langley East

Second provincial run by Murrayville resident

Langley Township’s Adastra Lab breaks local cannabis mold with extraction development

CEO Andrew Hale said changing market is leading to larger demand for distillate products

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Another death as COVID-19 outbreak at Delta Hospital climbs to 18 cases

Total of 12 patients and six staff in one unit have tested positive for COVID-19: Fraser Health

‘Alien invasion’: Strange webbing creeps in overnight in Agassiz,Harrison

Eerie webbing might be the result of a growth in moth population

Most Read