This is the 2015-16 Western Hockey League season. This is the league's 50th season dating back to its' founding as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League in 1966 and subsequent renaming to the Western Canada Hockey League in 1968 and to the present name in 1978.
In marking the league's 50th season, the schedule started on September 24th with a match up between the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Regina Pats which was done in honour of the league's first championship series in 1967. The league also had an online survey to choose the top 50 players in league history. The list was be released starting in January with a countdown format.
The league hosted two games of the Canada/Russia Challenge with games November 9th in Kelowna, BC and November 10th in Kamloops, BC. The league also hosted the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on January 28th in Vancouver, BC. Kamloops also hosted Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on February 6th. The final event was be the 2016 Memorial Cup which wil be held in Red Deer, Alberta, returning to Alberta for the first time since the 1974 tournament.
The league announced rules changes similar to the National Hockey League for the 2015-16 season involving 3-on-3 overtime, the marking on on the ice (face off circle hash marks and increasing the area behind the net where goalies are allowed to play the puck) and the procedure for face-offs.
Eastern Conference Edit
|East||Brandon Wheat Kings||Brandon, Manitoba, Canada||Westman Communications Group Place||5,102|
|Moose Jaw Warriors||Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada||Mosaic Place||4,714|
|Prince Albert Raiders||Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada||Art Hauser Centre||3,366|
|Regina Pats||Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada||Brandt Centre||6,200|
|Saskatoon Blades||Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada||SaskTel Centre||15,195|
|Swift Current Broncos||Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada||Credit Union iPlex||3,239|
|Central||Calgary Hitmen||Calgary, Alberta, Canada||
Stampede Corral (some playoff games)
|Edmonton Oil Kings||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||Rexall Place||16,839|
|Kootenay Ice||Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada||Western Financial Place||4,654|
|Lethbridge Hurricanes||Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada||ENMAX Centre||5,479|
|Medicine Hat Tigers||Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada||
5,500 (expandable to 6,500)
|Red Deer Rebels||Red Deer, Alberta, Canada||ENMAX Centrium||6,000|
Western Conference Edit
|B.C.||Kamloops Blazers||Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada||Interior Savings Centre||5,464|
|Kelowna Rockets||Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada||Prospera Place||6,286|
|Prince George Cougars||Prince George, British Columbia, Canada||CN Centre||5,971|
|Vancouver Giants||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada||Pacific Coliseum||16,281|
|Victoria Royals||Victoria, British Columbia, Canada||Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre||7,006|
|U.S.||Everett Silvertips||Everett, Washington, United States||Xfinity Arena at Everett||8,149|
|Portland Winterhawks||Portland, Oregon, United States|| Memorial Coliseum|
|Seattle Thunderbirds||Kent, Washington, United States||ShoWare Center||6,500|
|Spokane Chiefs||Spokane, Washington, United States||Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena||10,759|
|Tri-City Americans||Kennewick, Washington, United States||Toyota Center||6,000|
|Brandon Wheat Kings||72||48||18||-||4||2||319||197||-||102|
|Prince Albert Raiders||72||38||26||-||7||1||222||223||
|Moose Jaw Warriors||72||36||27||-||7||2||249||239||-||81|
|Swift Current Broncos||72||24||38||-||7||3||189||249||-||58|
|Red Deer Rebels||72||45||24||-||1||2||26||205||-||93|
|Edmonton Oil Kings||72||29||36||-||6||1||197||238||-||65|
|Medicine Hat Tigers||72||30||37||-||3||2||223||287||-||65|
|Prince George Cougars||72||36||31||-||3||2||240||225||-||77|
2016 Ed Chynoweth Cup PlayoffsEdit
The league is divided up into 2 conferences with 2 divisions each. The Eastern Conference is made up of the 6-team East Division and the 6-team Central Division while the Western Conference is made up of the 5-team BC and 5-team US Divisions. The league uses the same format as the NHL does with the top 3 teams in each division qualifying for the playoffs and the next two best records in the conference qualifying as the 7 and 8 seeds and joining the playoffs for the division they start the playoffs in.
The winner of the Chynoweth Cup advances to the 2016 Memorial Cup.
The 2016 Memorial Cup is scheduled to be held in Red Deer, Alberta and be hosted by the Red Deer Rebels. All of the games will be held at the ENMAX Centrium. This will be the 98th Memorial Cup championship and will determine the champion of the Canadian Hockey League. This marks the first time that the Memorial Cup has been held in the province of Alberta since 1974.
The tournament wll match up the champions of the three member leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the host Red Deer Rebels).
The tournament will take place from May 19-29, 2016.
Playoff for final Eastern Conference Playoff spotEdit
East Divsion SemifinalsEdit
- Brandon Wheat Kings defeated Edmonton Oil Kings
- 4 games to 2 (2-4, 1-2, 3-1, 5-0, 5-2, 10-3)
- Moose Jaw Warriors defeated Prince Albert Raiders 4 games to 1 (3-2, 4-2, 3-7, 7-0, 5-0)
Central Division SemifinalsEdit
- Regina Pats defeated Lethbridge Hurricanes 4 games to 1 (3-6, 3-0, 3-2, 2-0, 7-2)
- Red Deer Rebels defeated Calgary Hitmen 4 games to 1 (3-1, 2-5, 4-3, 2-0, 5-3)
B.C. Division SemifinalsEdit
- Victoria Royals defeated Spokane Chiefs 4 games to 2 ( 5-3, 4-3, 2-5, 3-2 (ot), 1-4, 6-2)
- Kelowna Rockets defeated Kamloops Blazers 4 games to 3 (3-2, 4-5, 1-0, 1-5, 4-0, 2-1 (ot)
U.S. Division SemifinalsEdit
- Seattle Thunderbirds defeated Prince George Cougars 4 games to none (3-2 (ot), 4-1, 5-0, 4-3 (ot))
- Everett Silvertips vs Portland Winterhawks 4 games to none (3-0, 3-1, 5-3, 4-2)