The Alberta Junior Hockey League released another statement regarding the five teams said to be joining the BCHL starting in the 2024-25 season.
On Friday morning (Jan. 26), the league posted a bitterly-worded statement to their social media feeds pointing to "contradictory statements coming from the BCHL and five defecting clubs, and the negative impact they are having on our players and their families."
This is in reference to a joint statement from the Okotoks Oilers, Brooks Bandits, Blackfalds Bulldogs, Spruce Grove Saints, and Sherwood Park Crusaders from the day prior, which indicated the teams intended to finish their commitment for the rest of the current season and post-season and that they haven't yet entered into an agreement to leave the AJHL, CJHL, Hockey Alberta, or Hockey Canada.
According to the AJHL, that contradicts the Jan. 20 release from the BCHL saying they had the five teams had "committed to terms."
The Alberta league also referenced a comment made by Brooks Bandits president Paul Seaton.
"In addition to contradicting the BCHL, last night's statement is at odds with earlier statements from the five clubs. This includes a media comment from Bandit President Paul Seaton who said two days ago that 'nothing has been signed yet but an agreement has been reached and our board has agreed to it unanimously...The information wasn't to be out until May 1.'"
AJHL Seeks Clarity on Conflicting Statements pic.twitter.com/K47frsDveC— TheAJHL (@TheAJHL) January 26, 2024
The AJHL is asking the BCHL and the five teams to "provide immediate clarification."
Yesterday, the AJHL announced that all scheduled games between the "defecting teams" and the other 11 teams would be cancelled and reaffirmed the decision in this new statement.
"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."
With those cancellations in place, the Okotoks Oilers only have three scheduled games for the remainder of the season.
In a Facebook post from this afternoon notifying fans of the cancelling of tomorrow's game against Whitecourt, the Oilers said they are "working as hard as we can to ensure there are no further cancellations."