From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a timeline of events throughout the 40 year history of the
Western Hockey League
1966: League began play as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League with seven teams:
Calgary Buffaloes, Edmonton Oil Kings, Estevan Bruins, Moose Jaw Canucks, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, and Weyburn Red Wings. 1967: Calgary Buffaloes become the
Calgary Centennials. Flin Flon Bombers, Winnipeg Jets and Brandon Wheat Kings join the league. 1968: League shortens its name to Western Canada Hockey League.
1968: Regina Pats, Weyburn Red Wings and Moose Jaw Canucks leave the league. Remaining eight teams broken into two divisions: East (Flin Flon, Estevan, Winnipeg, Brandon); West (Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Swift Current).
Flin Flon Bombers was awarded the CHA "National Championship" series against Western Ontario Junior A Hockey League Champion St. Thomas Barons. Series starred Bobby Clarke for Flin Flon and Ken Murray for St. Thomas. The championship was not sanctioned by the CAHA and game four was forfeited during the second period by St. Thomas due to violent play. Prior to Game 4, Flin Flon led the series 2-games-to-1.
1970: Regina Pats return, and play in the Eastern Division;
Medicine Hat Tigers are granted a franchise, and play in the Western Division. 1971: Estevan Bruins move to
New Westminster, and play in the Western Division. Victoria Cougars, and Vancouver Nats granted franchises, both play in the Western Division. Swift Current and Saskatoon move to the Eastern Division. 1973:
Vancouver Nats move to Kamloops and become the Kamloops Chiefs; Winnipeg Jets become Winnipeg Clubs. 1974: Swift Current Broncos move to
Edmonton Oil Kings move to Portland and become the Portland Winter Hawks. Winnipeg Clubs become Winnipeg Monarchs. 1976: League splits into three divisions: East (Brandon, Saskatoon, Flin Flon, Regina); Central (Medicine Hat, Winnipeg, Lethbridge, Calgary); West (New Westminster, Kamloops, Portland, Victoria).
1977: Calgary Centennials move to
Billings to become the Billings Bighorns. Winnipeg Monarchs move to Calgary and become the Calgary Wranglers. Kamloops Chiefs fold. Seattle Breakers granted a franchise and play in the Western Division. 1978: The WCHL becomes the Western Hockey League. Flin Flon Bombers move to
Edmonton to become the second incarnation of the Edmonton Oil Kings. 1979: Edmonton Oil Kings move to
Great Falls to become the Great Falls Americans; they would fold on December 16. 1979: The WHL shrinks back into two divisions: West (Portland, Victoria, Seattle, New Westminster) and East (Regina, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Billings, Brandon, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Great Falls)
Tacoma Rockets granted a franchise and play in the Western Division. 1992:
Red Deer Rebels granted a franchise and play in the Eastern Division. 1994: Victoria Cougars move to
Prince George and become the Prince George Cougars. 1995:
Calgary Hitmen are granted a franchise. Tacoma Rockets move to Kelowna and become the Kelowna Rockets. 1995: WHL divides into three divisions: West (Spokane, Tri-Cities, Kelowna, Seattle, Kamloops, Portland, Prince George), Central (Swift Current, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Calgary), and East (Brandon, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw).
Edmonton Ice are granted a franchise, and play in the central division. Swift Current moves to the east division. 1998: Edmonton Ice move to
Cranbrook and become the Kootenay Ice.
Vancouver Giants granted a franchise. 2001: WHL divides into two conferences of two divisions each: Eastern Conference: East Division (Brandon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Prince Albert); Central Division (Red Deer, Swift Current, Lethbridge, Calgary, Medicine Hat); Western Conference: British Columbia Division (Kamloops, Kootenay, Prince George, Kelowna, Vancouver); United States Division (Portland, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Seattle).
Everett Silvertips are granted a franchise and play in the United States division. 2005: The Tri-City Americans' plan to move to
Chilliwack is voted down by the league Board of Governors. Three weeks after the initial vote, the league grants Chilliwack an expansion team named the Chilliwack Bruins for play in the 2006–07 WHL season. The Tri-City Americans would stay put under a new ownership group led by former Tri-City and National Hockey League players Stu Barnes and Olaf Kolzig. 2005:
Shaw TV Signs a TV contract to broadcast WHL games live. 2006:
Edmonton granted a conditional franchise that began play in 2007–08. The team, named the Edmonton Oil Kings, is owned by the Edmonton Investors Group, then owner of the Edmonton Oilers. 2010: The 2010-2011 Season was the first to be featured in
EA Sports NHL 11 video game including all the teams and rosters. 2011: The
Spokane Chiefs hosted the Kootenay Ice in the WHL's first ever outdoor game on January 15. 2011: On February 21, the defending champions
Calgary Hitmen hosted the oldest continually operated major-junior hockey team in the world, the Regina Pats, for an outdoor game at McMahon Stadium in conjunction with the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic. 2011: The Chilliwack Bruins move to Victoria, becoming the
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
Art Hauser Centre ( Prince Albert, SK)
Brandt Centre ( Regina, SK)
Credit Union iPlex ( Swift Current, SK)
ENMAX Centre ( Lethbridge, AB)
ENMAX Centrium ( Red Deer, AB)
Medicine Hat Arena ( Medicine Hat, AB)
Mosaic Place ( Moose Jaw, SK)
Rexall Place ( Edmonton, AB)
SaskTel Centre ( Saskatoon, SK)
Scotiabank Saddledome ( Calgary, AB)
Western Financial Place ( Cranbrook, BC)
Westman Place ( Brandon, MB)
CN Centre ( Prince George, BC)
Xfinity Arena at Everett ( Everett, WA)
Interior Savings Centre ( Kamloops, BC)
Veterans Memorial Coliseum ( Portland, OR)
Pacific Coliseum ( Vancouver, BC)
Prospera Place ( Kelowna, BC)
Moda Center ( Portland, OR)
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre ( Victoria, BC)
ShoWare Center ( Kent, WA)
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena ( Spokane, WA)
Toyota Center ( Kennewick, WA)