This was in the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper:
Victoria Grizzlies to play Island teams less in new-look BCHL
Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
Get ready for fewer visits to The Q Centre from the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Nanaimo Clippers and other Island Division teams next season, and more from the likes of the Surrey Eagles, Coquitlam Express and other Mainland Division teams as the B.C. Hockey League is set to announce a re-alignment due to the addition of the expansion Cranbrook Bucks.
Beginning next season, the BCHL will move to a two-conference format with nine teams in each conference and a more balanced, but shorter schedule. And because of the shorter schedule, the league is also planning a late-September start to the season, rather than the usual early-September.
The Prince George Spruce Kings will move from the current Mainland Division to the newly formed Interior Conference, along with the expansion Bucks, Penticton Vees, Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Trail Smoke Eaters, Vernon Vipers, Merritt Centennials, West Kelowna Warriors and Wentachee Wild.
The Grizzlies, Capitals, Clippers, Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Powell River Kings, will form the Coastal Conference, along with the Eagles, Express, Langley Rivermen and Chilliwack Chiefs.
“I like it, mainly because of the more variety of opponents,” Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon said Monday as he prepared his club for tonight’s contest against the Warriors at The Q Centre.
“Our fans will get to see the Mainland teams twice now and a little less of the Island opponents that they usually see a lot of.
“It will also spread out our opponents so you’re not seeing the same team three games in a row like we have this year.”
Teams will also play four fewer games next season as the league moves to a 54-game schedule from 58. And with a more balanced schedule the conference playoff format can return to first place-vs.-eighth, second-vs.-seventh, third-vs.-sixth, fourth-vs.-fifth, rather than a format with wild cards as is done now.
“Again, I like it. It’s simple and straight forward,” said Didmon.