What is Schedule “Interlocking?” Why TC Ams Won’t Be Doing It
A number of hockey and other sports fans are a little confused about the word "interlocking" being thrown around when it comes to WHL (Western Hockey League) schedules coming this fall.
The Tri-City Americans are projected to play a full 68 game season schedule for 2021-22 (has not been announced yet as of this writing) and we know the home opener will be October 1st.
However, the CHL (Canadian Hockey League) has announced there will be no "interlocking" of schedules this coming season.
What that means is, the Americans will not play any teams east of Spokane. All 68 games for the team will be only against US Division and BC (British Columbia) Division teams.
As the WHL said in a release a few days ago:
"The 2021-22 WHL Regular Season Schedule will not feature any interlocking games between the Eastern Conference and Western Conference."
Usually, for years, Ams fans have grown used to seeing Eastern and Central Division foes come in for a game, such as Saskatoon, Lethbridge, Calgary, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert etc.
And, usually, in October or November, the Americans go on their two-week-plus Eastern or Central Division road trip; where they play 5-7 games vs. these teams.
That will not happen this year. The Americans will play Seattle, Spokane, Portland, and Everett, and the BC Division's Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria.
Thanks to Chris M, one of our Newstalk friends and an uber Am's hockey fan, he offered more in a comment on our Facebook page explaining the interlocking:
"The teams in Alberta, Sakatchewan & Manitoba will stay in those three provinces for play as well, and not go into BC, Washington & Oregon."
This is not a decision by the individual clubs, or really, even the WHL or CHL. This stems from the Canadian government's recently (some say Draconian) lockdowns and tightening of COVID policies.
Anyone who travels knows how difficult border crossings have been. BUT, we get a full 68 game schedule, and it's including BC and not just US Division foes.
Click here to see more information about tickets etc. on the Americans website.
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