Cam Hope has been tasked to take over hockey in this province at perhaps the most difficult juncture in its history. The former Victoria Royals president and GM was named the new CEO of B.C. Hockey on Wednesday.
“Everyone in sports is in the same boat as we look forward to the super challenging task of returning to play,” said Hope.
“The return to play is underway – players are on the ice right now — and we are getting the information out to our members. It’s baby steps, but little by little, people will be getting back to hockey.”
Sport is among the segments of society hit hardest by the pandemic. More than 20 of the then 30 staff members at the B.C. Hockey head office in Saanichton were let go in May. Staffing levels are based on player registration numbers throughout the province and nobody knew last spring what those would be in the fall and winter. That is still being determined but Hope is optimistic of a gradual return to something approaching normalcy, both on the ice, and at head office.
“The [remaining] staff shouldered a tremendous load,” said Hope, who takes over his new position next week.
“Hopefully, there are better times ahead.”
Hope replaces Barry Petrachenko of Victoria, who was CEO of B.C. Hockey for 20 years up to May.
Hope never had a losing Western Hockey League season at 316-205-52 and never missed the playoffs in his eight years as GM of the Royals. The former assistant GM of the NHL New York Rangers, under Glen Sather, was also president of the Royals for seven years. Hope was replaced in May as Royals GM by head coach Dan Price, who took on the dual role. Hope said he is fortunate the B.C. Hockey head office is located on the South Island: “We love this community, so that’s a happy coincidence.”