Rumours that the Grande Prairie Storm is leaving the Alberta Junior Hockey League appear to be unfounded. Club vice-president Chris Millsap says he has no idea how their name got into the mix with teams potentially jumping ship with B.C.
“We are certainly not leaving the Alberta Junior Hockey League. We have not been approached or asked or anything of the like,” he tells MyGrandePrairieNow.com. “We’re unaware as to how it came to be that the Grande Prairie Storm name got involved.”
Sports talk show host Rod Pedersen reported Wednesday that there were rumblings that the British Columbia Hockey League is leaving the Canadian Junior Hockey League to play on their own. He also listed four Alberta hockey teams reported to be following suit, including the Grande Prairie Storm, as well as the Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, and Spruce Grove Saints.
Millsap says, to the best of his knowledge, the BCHL has made the decision to leave the parent organization of the CJHL to operate under their own banner. However, he reiterates the Storm isn’t making any changes.
“That’s certainly not the case. We intend to continue to participate in the Alberta Junior Hockey League as long as they’ll have us.”
The Whitecourt Wolverines have also declined any involvement.
“The Whitecourt Wolverines have no intention of moving from the AJHL,” notes Wyatt Zieger, Whitecourt Wolverines Communications Representative.
Millsap explains that by leaving the CJHL, B.C. hockey teams would no longer be bound by league rules like those surrounding the transfer of players and trade deadlines, and would not be eligible to take part in the national Junior A championship. He also notes that the rumour of the B.C. hockey teams also leaving Hockey Canada is also false.