The BCHL has announced a new focus for the league moving forward: ‘Modern Hockey’.
The new tagline represents a shift in culture for the league as it moves into a more modern style of play and operation at the team and league levels.
Within the ‘Modern Hockey’ brand are four pillars which the league is built on: Speed and Skill, Player Safety, Education and Community.
“The game of hockey is quickly growing and changing and we want to make sure the BCHL is at the forefront of that movement,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb. “The league is shifting from old-school to new-school and ‘Modern Hockey’ is the perfect symbol of that.”
Speed and Skill
With fighting penalties significantly declining year after year, the BCHL has moved away from that type of hockey and instead emphasized speed, skill and scoring.
The league also serves as a model for the professional game. This is backed up by the BCHL’s growing representation at the NHL Draft. The BCHL has had at least one player selected at the draft every year since 1992, including recent first-rounders Alex Newhook and Kent Johnson. Former BCHL players can also be found on AHL, ECHL and European professional rosters.
Through stricter rules around fighting and other dangerous on-ice plays, the BCHL has committed to improve player safety through initiatives at the league level.
The BCHL’s Department of Player Safety is headed by former NHL official Brad Lazarowich who is the league’s Director of Officiating and Player Safety. With 30 years and nearly 2,000 NHL games under his belt, he brings an unrivaled professionalism and commitment to player safety.
With some BCHL players still enrolled in high school and others preparing to go to college, education has always been an important subject for the BCHL.
The league is by far the country’s leader in scholarships, with 190 players committed to play college or university hockey in 2021-22 alone, including 171 who received scholarships to NCAA Division I programs.
Whether it’s a team visit to a school or hospital or a food drive around the holidays, BCHL players and teams are an important part of their communities. Many teams are also supported by local businesses, so it has always been a two-way street. Community involvement will continue to be a priority to the league and teams.