The Kamloops Storm playing the 100 Mile Wrangers at West Fraser Centre in November 2017. In the 2018-19 season, all players will be required to wear full cage masks. Melanie Law photo

Full hockey cages made mandatory on helmets for Junior B players

Fans of Junior B will be seeing a lot more fishbowls in the arena

The provincial hockey union, BC Hockey, has made full cages in Junior B hockey mandatory taking effect during 2018-19.

The decision was made on Dec. 5 and will affect all Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) teams, including the Kamloops Storm, who’ve been playing some of their regular season games in Quesnel this season.

General manager and head coach of the 100 Mile Wranglers Dale Hladun was surprised at the decision, not knowing it was even being discussed.

“I understand they’re doing it to reduce insurance premiums and all that stuff because of facial injuries,” said Hladun.

“Whether I have an opinion or not on it isn’t the point, it’s law and we just have to deal with it.”

The KIJHL is not the only league required to adapt, with the Pacific Junior Hockey League, the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and the two British Columbian teams active in the Albertan based North West Junior Hockey League (Fort St. John Huskies and Dawson Creek Junior Canucks) also having to comply.

With the decision across the board, it means no players who disagree with the new ruling can jump ship, but Hladun figures it won’t affect the players much.

“The kids at our level, their goal is to go to Junior A and on to college and if you go to college, especially in the States, everybody has masks.

“Some of the kids want to wear half-shields and I get it, but throughout minor hockey, they had to wear them [cages] then so I guess they have to keep wearing them.”

Hladun, while admitting the full cages could help with keeping facial and dental injuries down, has considered how the change will impact the teams budget.

The team already supplies players with half shields, but Hladun wasn’t sure how much supplying cages would increase the expenditure on equipment. He did assert the team must adjust and comply with the ruling.

“I think some of us hockey guys, we get set in our ways with the way it should be and the game is always evolving and part of that is protection,” said Hladun.

“So if this hopefully keeps premiums down for the kids to play because hockey is expensive.”

Just Posted

Letter: Prince George designated as a foreign trade zone

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty says he’s been advocating for years

Column: why use cover crop cocktails?

Columnist David Zirnhelt on some the research into using a variety of cover crops

Quesnel Thunder skate away with Midget Tier 2 Provincial championship

Quesnel Midget team showed winning races to puck, winning battles equates to winning games

Alex Fraser Park Society makes plans for repairs and upgrades

A facility index report highlighted some areas in need of major maintenance

Canadian culture, gun laws make life safer in B.C.

Gun amnesties have helped, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

Trudeau to formally exonerate Tsilhqot’in war chiefs hanged 1864/65

A delegation from the Tsilhqot’in Nation is travelling to Ottawa to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally exonerate the Tsilhqot’in war chiefs.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Most Read