In response to the update from the five teams, the AJHL has issued the following statement this morning (January 26, 2024).
"The AJHL is aware of the contradictory statements coming from the BCHL and five defecting clubs, and the negative impact they are having on our players and families.
The denial made late Thursday night by the five clubs directly contradicts the BCHL itself, which said last Saturday that the unsanctioned league and the clubs had 'committed to terms' for the teams to join the BCHL starting in the 2024-25 season.
In addition to contradicting the BCHL, last night's statement is at odds with earlier statements from the five clubs. This includes a media comment from Bandit President Paul Seaton who said two days ago that "nothing has been signed yet but an agreement has been reached and our board has agreed to it unanimously...The information wasn't to be out until May 1".
Given the suggestion by the five clubs that BCHL issued a false statement and the inconsistent and conflicting information coming from the five clubs themselves, the AJHL is calling on the BCHL and the clubs to provide immediate clarification.
Until such time as the AJHL is satisfied that there are no plans for the five clubs to depart the league to play unsanctioned hockey, the current scheduling decisions remain in place."
Five AJHL teams have provided a statement regarding the changes made to the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s (AJHL) game schedule.
Last weekend, the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) announced that five AJHL teams would be joining their league for the 2024-2025 season including the Blackfalds Bulldogs. Yesterday, (January 25, 2024) the AJHL stated that the five teams could keep their games between each other but would not be able to maintain their games with the 11 teams that would remain in the league.
In response to the game cancellations the five teams who have signed on to the BCHL have provided the following statement:
“Our five teams remain in good standing of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Canadian Junior Hockey League, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Canada.
We have not entered into any agreement to leave any of those organizations, nor have we made any announcement to that effect.
We have full intention of fulfilling our commitments to each of those bodies for the remainder of the 2023-24 regular season and postseason.
We do not agree that any AJHL games should be cancelled or postponed. We share in the public’s disappointment in the current situation.
We strongly believe that our players should be back on the ice playing hockey and competing for an Inter Pipeline Cup, and we will do everything we can to bring this unfortunate situation to a positive relationship.”