The Kelowna Rockets, Kamloops Blazers and 20 other Western Hockey League clubs will play a 68-game regular season schedule beginning in 2018-19 to benefit both the teams and the players. -Image: Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze

WHL to reduce schedule to 68 games next season

Board of governors approved proposal to drop four games per team in 2018-19

Beginning in 2018-19, the Western Hockey League teams will play 68-game regular season schedule.

The league approved the shift from 72 to 68 games at the WHL Board of Governors meeting this week in Calgary.

Playing four fewer games during the regular season is designed to help reduce travel and balance the schedule, while providing more time for players to focus on training, skill development and their academic studies. F

“This has been in the works for a while now, and it has just been a matter of deciding on a time of when to make the move from 72 to 68,” said WHL board chairman and Kelowna Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton.

“It’s designed to benefit the players. The players will get more time at school, and they’ll have more time for practice and skill development which is what we feel the players need. Most importantly, we need to look after them in the sense that their well-being is our main concern.

“We’ve eliminated four games, two on the road, and we really feel that their academics and their skill development will benefit from that.”

The Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League currently play a 68-game regular season schedule. With the WHL reduction in games, it will result in all three Canadian Hockey League member leagues playing the same number of games.

“By reducing our WHL regular season schedule, I believe this further demonstrates our WHL club’s commitment to providing our players with the best possible environment to develop, both as hockey players and student athletes,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.

“The WHL takes great pride in being a world leader in player development and education opportunities, and we are fully committed to enhancing our player experience on an ongoing basis.”

Just Posted

Cherry season has arrived in the Okanagan

Dust off those cherry pie recipes

Sun-Rype Products Ltd. and Mamas for Mamas announce partnership

The partnership will help support mothers in crisis

Two artists put on divine feminine art show in Kelowna

The show will be on for the month of July

Poke bowl craze is coming to Kelowna

Pacific Poke opens Downtown this July

First annual BE Awards celebrate Thompson Okanagan Businesses

Kelowna businesses shine in several categories

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

New craft brewery location chosen in Kelowna

Rustic Reel Brewing says it will produce beer at new location on Vaughan Avenue

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Most Read