If you thought the pandemic was long, imagine how Fort St. John Flyers management feel.
In 2019, the team asked for a one-year leave of absence after a number of their core players were lost to the flourishing oil and gas industry.
Three years later, however, and with no league for the last two, the Flyers will finally get to return to the ice this fall.
“It’s looking good,” said team president Paul van Nostrand on the team’s prospects.
“I’ve made quite a few calls in the last month. Spoken with a number of players. It looks like we’ll have a pretty good turnout for training camp.”
“We have a couple of Dawson Creek Canucks players interested in playing. They’re working up in the Fort St. John area so it’s a better fit for them.”
There will be some familiar faces, but also some new ones are expected at camp.
“Young guys, for example, who have graduated from the Huskies a few years ago and weren’t interested in playing too much, at that time, have now decided they want to play now,” added van Nostrand.
Under normal circumstances, being away for three years, the Flyers would have to apply to be re-instated.
With no league in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid, they’re automatically allowed back in.
One team, though, that has been out for a lot longer, the Spirit River Rangers, have been accepted back into the league.
“They’ve got a new executive, put together a prospective list of players, and have had several meetings, so they’re back in,” said van Nostrand.
With Fort St. John and Spirit River returning, the league will have at least seven teams.
The others: Dawson Creek, Falher, Grimshaw, Manning, and Grande Prairie.
Valleyview had also asked to be considered for a spot, but there’s no word on their application and what stage it’s at.
Email your letters to email@example.com