VIJHL goes independent; departs Hockey Canada, BC Hockey: ‘More opportunities’

VIJHL goes independent; departs Hockey Canada, BC Hockey: 'More opportunities'
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The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) is sharing its plans to become independent, meaning it will no longer be affiliated with Hockey Canada or BC Hockey.

The VIJHL announced the move Monday, saying it will be independent starting the 2024-25 season. This decision, it says, will “give the league greater autonomy over its future path,” and comes after a board vote by the 11 franchises in the Junior A Tier 2 league.

All of the member clubs are based on the Island, from Greater Victoria to Campbell River, with six in the north division and five in the south division.

“The VIJHL is pleased to announce our move to become an independent league starting next season and to operate outside of Hockey Canada’s umbrella going forward,” said Simon Morgan, the league’s president.

“After months of hard work behind the scenes by the ownership group of our 11 franchises, this decision to move the VIJHL into a new space in junior hockey will allow players more opportunities for development going forward.”

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The VIJHL, in a news release Monday, says going independent will increase the player pool and raise the level of play in the league, among other benefits. It will also allow for “the ability to make decisions that are in the best interest of the VIJHL,” according to the release.

The league, founded in 1965, saw the Saanich Predators clinch the 2024 championship title and take home the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy.

“We would also like to thank our former league partners in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) and the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) for their years of partnership, and we wish them nothing but the best going forward,” added Morgan.

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Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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