The BC Hockey League (BCHL) has announced that five Alberta-based teams have signed franchise agreements and are now officially members of the league, as of yesterday.

Prior to this, the teams had agreed to terms on a framework of what joining the BCHL would look like.

Effective immediately, the Blackfalds Bulldogs, Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints are members of the BCHL.

“We are pleased to officially welcome these five franchises into the fold as members of our league,” said Chris Hebb, Chief Executive Officer of the BCHL. “All five are strong organizations from great communities and we look forward to the immediate boost they will give our league. We were encouraged by their belief in our model and think that adding these teams will strengthen the development of all our players.”

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.

“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.”

The schedule for the Alberta teams starts tomorrow and can be viewed here.

Details for the post-season competition will be announced at a later date.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this decision, visit our FAQ page here.