Minor hockey gets it right

Very good news about the Beaver Valley/Rossland-Trail minor hockey merger.

Very good news about the Beaver Valley/Rossland-Trail minor hockey merger.

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the issue, and there will be more along the way, but the ability this will give communities to optimize the use of what are expensive arena facilities, and area wide co-operation on behalf of young players, is worth the debate.

That is, or course, assuming that parents in the RTMHA will still approve of the move once the reality sets in that some of their kids won’t make it onto all-star (rep) rosters once the extra players from B.V. enter the competition equation.

What is guaranteed if the merger happens is that everybody in the mix will have access to four facilities for play and practice, which should vastly improve the association’s ability to schedule ice time to the benefit of all concerned. There will be more travel involved for almost everybody involved, but driving distances are not large and the benefits may be.

Guaranteed as well, one hopes, will be the opportunity for kids in the valley to play at all levels of minor hockey, something that has been iffy as registration numbers have dwindled.

If the new combined numbers necessitate a move up for local rep teams it may be more difficult for one of them to bring home a provincial championship banner.

My attitude to that is, So what? Championships should be hard to earn and an improvement in the level of competition should improve the caliber of play – the competitiveness – of the players, and coaches, involved.

Shaking it all out will require goodwill and serious effort, it may not even happen in time for the 2012 minor hockey season. But, it is a very positive regional step forward in a region often beset with fractious issues that, at times, wear on that goodwill.

•Travis St. Dennis and the Penticton Vees have rebounded from a rough start with two wins at the Royal Bank Cup Junior A Canadian Hockey Championship, not that you might know that from perusing national media, and will have a shot in the playoff round on the weekend.

You can watch for free on something called fasthockey.com, via the RBC facebook page, Saturday and the final will air on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on TSN.

Enjoy Silver City Days. That’s what all that volunteer work is for.