Scheduling folly plagues BCHL

"...leaders of the BCHL should be horribly embarrassed about their organization of the 2012-2013 season - start to finish."

They won’t be, untouchables never are, but the leaders of the BCHL should be horribly embarrassed about their organization of the 2012-2013 season – start to finish.

In their zeal to generate profits for Chilliwack and get the overpriced, underused Prospera Center there off the taxpayer annoyance hook, the league began the season with a 16 game,”Showcase,” in the Fraser Valley which drew few fans and undoubtedly was a setback for everyone but the Chilliwack Chiefs in terms of their home support, finances and team preparation for the season.

Early season tournaments are generally exhibitions, and held during prime golf weather, so woefully supported. Away games are little noticed by fans during that time and just giving them the title of, “regular season, count in the standings,” games makes little difference.

Then there are the ramifications for team schedules. This March that includes the Smoke Eaters with only two games in 10 days at crunch time and their standings rivals from Salmon Arm playing five of their last six on the road, including a couple of long, out of division, trips, while trying to get that last playoff spot and increased attendance cash which comes with earning it.

Pair that with the still real possibility that the Smoke Eaters could, with a little, “luck,” end up playing the Penticton Vees 11 times in a row throughout late February and March.

It should be easy for a league to see the folly of its ways when they have to announce the all star teams while there are still 30 games left in the regular season – a bit like picking a game’s three stars with five minutes left in a tie contest – but these guys don’t do easy, never mind self-analysis.

Suffice to say, in their, “wisdom,” the BCHL bosses have long since decided that next year will just like this year, because this year was such a paragon of fairness and organization on their behalf.

I know the league desperately wishes small market teams like Trail and Merritt would just go away, but come on, for their salaries finesse should be part of the skills package.

• Speaking of that last playoff spot. The stars will have to align mightily for Trail to grab it, but it is still a possibilty. The Silverbacks have a two point lead and need only one more to nail shut the door on Trail.

We will know before Sunday afternoon’s start time at Cominco Arena, 3 p.m. whether the Smoke Eaters are still in the playoff mix, as the Silverbacks regular season ends on Saturday night.

Then, of course, it will be up to Trail to perform a task not without difficulty, get a third win in four games against Penticton, which is among the highest scoring teams and is the best defensive in the league this year. Drama, drama.

Drama, drama. I will just say this. I saw a WHL game in Spokane Wednesday and it wasn’t close to as exciting and entertaining (worth watching), despite the relative glamour and loudspeaker urgings of that modern buidling, as any of the past several Smoke Eater games I have attended. Oh, and it cost more.

If you haven’t been to a Smokies’ game lately, this would be a good time to take one in – good weather for driving is forecast and some of the kids won’t play here again.

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