Following the recent announcement from the BCHL that five AJHL teams have decided to leave the league in the middle of the current season to play unsanctioned hockey starting in the 2024-25 season, the AHJL is taking decisive steps to address the situation.
In a joint statement from the Brooks Bandits, Blackfalds Bulldogs, Spruce Grove Saints, Okotoks Oilers, and the Sherwood Park Crusaders, assert that they remain members in good standing of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Canadian Junior Hockey League, Hockey Alberta, and Hockey Canada.
The team expressed their disagreement with the cancellation of games and stated their full intention to fulfill their commitments for the remainder of the 2023-24 regular season and postseason. The statement clarifies that there is no agreement to leave any of the organizations mentioned, and no such announcement has been made.
— Brooks Bandits (@BrooksBandits) January 26, 2024
In response to this development, the AJHL is focused on protecting the competitive integrity of the league and the CJHL playoff system and ensuring the safety of players and officials. Until further notice, all upcoming games scheduled between the five defecting teams and the remaining 11 teams in the league have been canceled. However, expected games among the 11 teams will continue as planned. Scheduled games among those clubs will also show respect for the players on the defecting teams.
“The AJHL is calling on the BCHL and the clubs to provide immediate clarification,” said the AJHL. “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.”
AJHL Seeks Clarity on Conflicting Statements pic.twitter.com/K47frsDveC
— TheAJHL (@TheAJHL) January 26, 2024
The AJHL emphasizes its vision to create an environment that inspires trust and confidence among organizations, athletes, fans, partners, and stakeholders. As the premier development league in Canada for student-athletes striving to excel in both athletics and academics, the AJHL expresses disappointment over the recent announcement. The league remains committed to providing fans with more exciting AJHL hockey in the months and years ahead.
The AJHL appreciates the understanding and patience of its supporters during this challenging time and remains dedicated to upholding its standards of excellence.