If you have questions, I’m willing to answer them. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions last week. I’m happy to share as much with our fans as I can. Let’s get to this weeks questions!
Thanks for sending them,
Bulldogs Mailbag – May 20th, 2020
Q: Lots of talk & questions from season ticket holders. When will the league start? Are the teams financially fragile? L Jarmin
A: This one is popping up frequently, so we might as well lead off with it. The reality of the BCHL is that we need bums in the seats to operate our teams. We’re working closely with municipal & provincial bodies to assess what we collectively need to do to drop the puck for the 2020-2021 season. We also need Hockey Canada to give us the green light. We’re asking fans to have just a little more patience, and news will soon be forthcoming. There are over 100 days before camps are scheduled to be open. In the world of COVID-19, that’s a long way away. We will figure out the plan and trust me, our fans will be the first to know!
Q: Would it be possible to allow the 20-year old’s to be extended 21 for this year only due to the recent developments with the Pandemic. L. Pitts
A: I’ve seen this question pop up a bunch too, not only with hockey but with university sports as well. A lot of seniors out there in all sports had their college athletic careers cut short, some with championship dreams. Here in the BCHL, 8 teams still had the Fred Page Cup in their sights. While there is understandable sentimentality around allowing 20-year old players back, it’s just not realistic, unfortunately. It would eliminate the younger players coming in, and force them back to minor hockey, spots they earned. Colleges have also made plans to replace seniors with incoming freshmen. While the idea tugs at the heartstrings, I don’t think it ever stood much of a chance with Hockey Canada.
Q: Can you start making Bulldogs hockey cards? A. Hemsworth
A: It’s a great idea, Ashton! We’ve produced cards for our lacrosse club in Victoria for several years, and they always fly off the shelves. One of my favourite things as a youngster was collecting not only NHL cards but cards of the Sudbury Wolves. It was a big deal collecting them! I’ll do some digging on what it would take to make that happen for next season!
Q: How’s the team looking? K. Trott
A: We’re really excited about the way things are coming together for the on-ice product. We can return a strong contingent of players, and we really like the players that have committed to us for next season. We’ve announced 4 players, and all 4 bring attributes that we think will help us win hockey games. Joe Martin might have a couple more tricks up his sleeve before we start the season, you’ll just have to wait and see!
Q: Why no Fred Page Cups? N. Whynot
A: Just so you know, Nathaniel, nothing causes more sleepless nights for me than making sure this team is in a position to win a Fred Page Cup. I was fortunate to be in Penticton with the Vees when we won the 2017 Championship in Game 7 in Chilliwack! (1-0 in OT…my heart still gets pumping thinking about that). A couple of things about winning. First, it’s really, really hard. I say this all the time, but so many things have to go right to win it all. We had some other really incredible teams in Penticton that came up short. Injuries and luck play a big part. The 2nd thing is that 17 other teams are starting next year that all want a Fred Page Cup too!
I can’t speak for what happened before I came to Port Alberni. I know a lot of good people put in a lot of hours, and for whatever reason, it just never came together. We have one season under our belt with our group in Port Alberni. We won 5 more games and added 11 points over the year before. Baby steps. It takes time for our staff to bring in the players that fit in Joe’s system and buy into the culture we’re trying to build. I’ve said this before, I’ve never been a part of a losing organization, and the Bulldogs won’t be the start of it. The Bulldogs will win one, just hang with us!