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WHL Changes Playoff Format

June 20, 2007 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Chilliwack Bruins News Release

CALGARY, AB - The Western Hockey League, following the conclusion of its Annual General Meeting today in Calgary, announced it will adopt a new playoff format for the 2007-08 and the 2008-09 seasons.

The WHL's Eastern and Western Conferences will use a Conference playoff format in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. The Conference playoff format will be the same as the current playoff format used by the National Hockey League. For the past six seasons, the WHL has used a Divisional seeding format as opposed to a Conference format in the first round of the playoffs.

The first place teams in the two Divisions in each Conference will receive the top two playoff seeds based on regular season points. The next six Clubs in each Conference, based on regular season points, will receive the 3rd - 8th playoff positions. The Clubs will be paired 1 - 8, 2 - 7, 3 - 6, and 4 - 5 in a best-of-seven series.

The first place Clubs in each Division will only be guaranteed the top two playoff seeds in the first round.

As in previous seasons, the format for the remaining three rounds of the WHL playoffs will remain the same.

The four Clubs winning first round series in each Conference will advance to the second round, where they will be ranked in order of regular season points. The Clubs will be paired 1 - 4, and 2 - 3 in best of seven series.

The two Clubs winning second round series in each Conference will advance to the third round (WHL Conference Championships), where they will be ranked in order of regular season points. The Clubs will be paired 1 - 2 in a best of seven series.

The Eastern and Western Conference Champions will advance to the best of seven WHL Championship Series, with the Club having the most regular season points receiving home ice advantage.

With the addition of the Edmonton Oil Kings, who begin play in the 2007-08 season, the WHL's Eastern Conference expands from 11 to 12 teams.

The Oil Kings will join the WHL Eastern Conference's Central Division, expanding the Division to six teams. The WHL Eastern Conference's East Division also features six teams, while the WHL Western Conference's B.C and U.S. Divisions each feature five teams apiece.

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