KIJHL suspends operations
-Photo: 100 Mile House Wranglers
Updated: There will be no game tonight in the KIJHL between the 100 Mile House Wranglers and the Revelstoke Grizzlies.
The KIJHL has decided to indefinitely suspend ongoing playoff games due to concerns regarding COVID-19.
The announcement was made Thursday afternoon.
Tom Bachynski is the head chair of the KIJHL and also president of the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
“I think the bigger picture here is not the players being susceptible to COVID-19,” he says. “It’s more the fans that are shoulder to shoulder and back to front. We fully expected to have 500 or 600 people in the arena tonight cheering on the Wranglers and that’s just not going to happen, and those are the people that are our first concerns. Large gatherings in tight corridors are the Petri dish for this virus and we want to make sure that we’re not adding to it.”
Bachynski says with the big move by Major League Soccer, NHL, and the CHL all deciding to suspend their play it was for the right reason, and that they felt it was necessary to follow suit.
“We’ve been in constant contact with BC Hockey and Hockey Canada who give us direction but obviously they’re under extreme fire right now and we thought because we’ve got games going tonight that we had best give some advance warning and say we’re going to suspend operations until we can have a civil somber conversation with our peers and see if what we’re doing is the right thing, if we should restart the playoffs or do we just suspend operations for the season and start next September,” he says. “So there’s a lot of questions that have to be answered and they will be in the next two or three days but at this point, we as a league think it’s the right choice for the safety of all of the communities involved.”
(Listen to R Dyok with Tom Bachynski in the audio file below)