WHL Launches 45th Regular SeasonSeptember 22, 2010 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
The WHL continues to be the world's top developer of young hockey talent. This was evident at the 2010 NHL Draft where more players were selected from the WHL than any other League with 43, including seven selected in the first round. With the potential of first round draft picks Ryan Johansen (Portland Winterhawks), Brett Connolly (Prince George Cougars), Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat Tigers) and Dylan McIlrath (Moose Jaw Warriors) returning to their WHL Clubs this season, the competitiveness within the WHL will be at an all time high. Adding to the League wide parity is a crop of young WHL sophomores looking to put themselves and teams on the radar during their NHL Draft year; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels), David Musil (Vancouver Giants), Ty Rattie (Portland Winterhawks) and Duncan Siemens (Saskatoon Blades).
The WHL awarded over 400 scholarships last season to current and graduate players and will continue to reach new lengths ensuring players have all education resources at their disposal. The WHL's partnerships with Athabasca University and all Canada West Universities provide current and graduate players more opportunity to further their education than ever before.
"The WHL is proud to offer the top young prospects in the West an ideal environment to develop as a hockey player and pursue a post-secondary education," commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. "The WHL strives to continue being a world leader in developing NHL talent and the awarding of post-secondary scholarships as we enter the 2010-11 season".
The WHL has several significant events to look forward to throughout the season including two outdoors games. The Spokane Chiefs will host the first ever outdoor game in Canadian Hockey League and WHL history on Saturday, January 15 when they host the Kootenay Ice at Avista Stadium in Spokane, WA. A few weeks later, in association with the NHL's Heritage Classic outdoor game at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, the Hitmen will host the Regina Pats on Monday, February 21, on the outdoor rink in front of what is expected to be a CHL and WHL record crowd. Sandwiched between the two outdoor events the WHL will participate in Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on CBC by staging a regular season game between the Kamloops Blazers and the Vancouver Giants in Whitehorse, Yukon on Saturday, February 12.
The WHL is also pleased to highlight the 2010-11 season with the 2010 SUBWAY(r) Super Series, a CHL national showcase event. The SUBWAY(r) Super Series is an integral part of the identification process for Canada's National Junior Team final selection camp as the top rated Canadian players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL take on the Russian National Junior Team. Team WHL will meet the Russian National Junior Team in game five of the series on Wednesday, November 17 in Kamloops, BC before wrapping up the six game series on Thursday, November 18 in Prince George, BC.
With a highly competitive season expected in all four WHL Divisions, along with all the major events taking place in the WHL this season, fans will have the opportunity to take in these historic events either live or through one of our many broadcast options.
SHAW TV will continue to be the official regional broadcaster of the WHL and will feature 30 regular season games as well as a full series in each round of the 2011 WHL Playoffs. The broadcast schedule will continue to feature key rivals LIVE every Friday night on 'The WHL on SHAW Friday Night Hockey' across Western Canada on SHAW TV and Shaw Direct 'Channel 299'.
The WHL and FSN Northwest will continue to provide fans in the U.S. Pacific Northwest with televised WHL action provided 10 regular season games to viewers. The 2010-11 WHL on FSN Broadcast schedule will feature all five WHL U.S. based Clubs: Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans. The broadcasts bring WHL action into 3.4 million homes across five U.S. states including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
Canadian Hockey League broadcast partner Rogers Sportsnet will also feature up to four nationally televised WHL games on 'CHL Sunday Night Hockey' as well as four regional broadcasts on Sportsnet West and Pacific.
As in previous seasons, all 22 Clubs will provide radio broadcasts of their entire home and away schedule throughout the regular season and playoffs. All 792 WHL regular season games and the entire playoff schedule will also be available for viewing on WHL LIVE pay-per-view with the WHL's digital media partner NeuLion, in cooperation with the WHL's radio broadcast partners. WHL LIVE gives fans the greatest access to live and archive WHL games, radio, live chat, video-on-demand and highlights. The newly modernized video console grants WHL fans an opportunity to tune into their favorite team with a simple Internet connection and watch the action anywhere at any time.
Recently, the Canadian Hockey League unveiled its brand new online network complete with 64 revamped league and team websites producing the largest ever Canadian sports online network launch. The launch provides a more streamlined set of websites with improved navigation, emphasis on social networking, and consistent advertising opportunities for national and league sponsor recognition. Sites will also feature larger news readers, photo galleries, and video players with the ability for leagues and teams to easily share content across all 64 websites.
The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) in association with EA Sports announced a four year agreement at the MasterCard Memorial Cup that will see the CHL included in EA SPORTS(tm) NHL(r) products. The three regional Leagues that make up the CHL, including the Western Hockey League (WHL), will all have their teams and players represented in EA SPORTS NHL 11 which became available to the public earlier this month.
The WHL is also pleased to acknowledge our prestige partners Kal Tire and Husky and thank both corporations for their extensive support of the WHL and its Western Canada based Clubs. The WHL would also like to recognize our official partners Waste Management, All-Weather Windows, Sandman Hotels, Old Dutch, Delissio and Reebok/CCM together with our broadcast partners SHAW TV, FSN Northwest, Rogers Sportsnet and NeuLion.
Western Hockey League Stories from September 22, 2010
- Craig Cunningham Named Vancouver Giants Team Captain - Vancouver Giants
- Oil Kings Trade Burns to Giants for Prospect Robin - Edmonton Oil Kings
- Vancouver Giants Acquire Michael Burns from Edmonton - Vancouver Giants
- 2010-11 WHL Eastern Conference Team-By-Team Preview - WHL
- Oil Kings Officially Launch 2010-11 Season - Edmonton Oil Kings
- Broncos Make a Deal with Seattle - Swift Current Broncos
- T-Birds Trade for Travis Bobbee - Seattle Thunderbirds
- Gal Returns from Philadelphia - Spokane Chiefs
- Kamloops Blazers Week in Review - Kamloops Blazers
- Blazers Announce 2010-11 Captains - Kamloops Blazers
- Western Hockey League and NeuLion Launch New Online Video Destination for WHL Fans - WHL
- WHL Launches 45th Regular Season - WHL
- Winterhawks Games to be on Alpha Broadcasting Radio Stations in 2010-11 - Portland Winterhawks
- Ranford Returns from Philadelphia - Kamloops Blazers
- Fight Night- Tie One on for Men's Cancer - Moose Jaw Warriors
- Dowling Returns - Swift Current Broncos
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.