It's now official, The Blackfalds Bulldogs along with 4 other Alberta teams will leave the AJHL and will join the BCHL.
Effective immediately, the Blackfalds Bulldogs, Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints are members of the BCHL.
The five teams will engage in competition with each other for the remainder of the season and will eventually crown an Alberta champion. Following the conclusion of the BCHL Playoffs, there will be an opportunity for the champion from Alberta to meet the champion from B.C. in a year-end competition.
Here is the official statement from The Blackfalds Bulldogs:
The Blackfalds Bulldogs have announced a finalized franchise agreement with the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and are official members of the league, effective immediately.
Prior to this agreement, the Blackfalds Bulldogs had agreed to terms on a framework of what joining the BCHL would look like.
Along with the Blackfalds Bulldogs, the Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints will also join the BCHL starting this season.
“The Blackfalds Bulldogs are thrilled to express our excitement to be joining the BCHL. The BCHL’s dedication and efforts in expediting this process in light of the AJHL decisions have not gone unnoticed and we are sincerely grateful for the commitment they have shown to ensure all our players have the opportunity to complete this season with competitive hockey. This swift transition in light of the AJHL’s decisions is a testament to the BCHL’s professionalism and passion for the sport. We eagerly anticipate the journey ahead and look forward to contributing our Bulldog Best to the vibrant hockey community that the BCHL represents,” said Doug Quinn, Owner of the Blackfalds Bulldogs Jr A Hockey Club.
“We are pleased to officially welcome these five franchises into the fold as members of our league,” said Graham Fraser, Chairman of the BCHL Board of Governors. “All five are strong organizations from great communities and we look forward to the immediate boost they will give our league.”
Due to the Alberta Junior Hockey League cancelling league games for the 2023-24 regular season, the five teams will engage in competition with each other as BCHL teams for the remainder of the season and will eventually crown an Alberta champion. Following the conclusion of the BCHL Playoffs, there will be an opportunity for the champion from Alberta to meet the champion from B.C. in a year-end competition.
“With the unfortunate situation the Alberta teams have faced in recent weeks with having games cancelled in their previous league, it was imperative to us to get these players back on the ice in meaningful competition,” said BCHL Commissioner Steven Cocker. “This five-team schedule and postseason will give these athletes the chance to get in a full set of games for the remainder of the year, which is the most important thing to us.”
Details for the post-season competition will be announced at a later date.