Thursday, April 30, 2015
Wenatchee Wild Arrives In BCHL For 2015-16 Season:
Wenatchee Arrives in 2015-16
Monday, April 27, 2015
The Wenatchee Wild are set to become the BCHL's 17th franchise. One BCHL GM and Head Coach told me today that Wenatchee will "definitely be playing in our league next season." This comes on the heels of a Twitter conversation I had with Bliss Littler, who is the current GM and Head Coach of Wenatchee in the North American Hockey League, in which he seemed confident that his club would be in the BCHL in 2015-16. Littler's exact words were, "I'm betting on it happening".
As was mentioned in this space earlier this month, the Wild requested to become dormant in the NAHL for next season in order to seek permission from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada to join the BCHL. Approval from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada doesn't guarantee Wenatchee can move to the BCHL, as the league's governors would also need to approve any such move. No confirmation where we are in those processes, but based on conversations today, it looks like the BCHL will have its first US-based team since Bellingham last played in the league in 1994-95. There's more to this story for sure.
This was posted on Brian Wiebe's BCHL Blog:
Wenatchee to Join Mainland Division
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
With word that the Wenatchee Wild are to join the BCHL next season, there is a lot of speculation as to which division the team will fit into. One BCHL GM told me that it's likely the Wild will be in the Mainland Division along with Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, Prince George and Surrey. The Bellingham Ice Hawks are the last US-based team in the BCHL and they played in the Mainland Division before leaving the league in 1995. There is a three hour traveling time difference between Wenatchee and Bellingham, so it's not really an equal comparison in terms of distance. Geographically, Wenatchee is directly south of Princeton, BC, so it's actually further east than Merritt, but with Prince George also in the Mainland Division, geography doesn't really have much to do with it. The discussion about the BCHL's division names is a discussion for another time.
Here are the distances and driving times from the Mainland Division home rinks to Wenatchee, according to Google Maps:
Surrey to Wenatchee: 337 km - 3 hours, 53 minutes
Coquitlam to Wenatchee: 363 km - 4 hours, 14 minutes
Langley to Wenatchee: 350 km - 4 hours, 4 minutes
Chilliwack to Wenatchee: 363 km - 4 hours, 22 minutes
Prince George to Wenatchee: 1,032 km - 11 hours, 13 minutes