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Confirmed: WHL announces relocation of Kootenay ICE to Winnipeg
#1
Cranbrook, B.C. – The Western Hockey League announced today that the WHL Board of Governors have approved the relocation of the Kootenay ICE franchise to Winnipeg, effective for the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season.
“The WHL appreciates the support we have received from the City of Cranbrook, the corporate community, and, in particular, hockey fans in the East Kootenay region,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “However, after many years of monitoring the operations of the Kootenay ICE, it is evident this franchise is not viable in the market moving forward. It is a difficult decision, but given low attendance trends and the support required to operate a WHL Club, it is necessary to move the franchise to a market where it can be sustainable on a long-term basis.”
The Kootenay ICE franchise has operated in Cranbrook since 1998, when it was relocated from Edmonton under the ownership of the Chynoweth family. On April 27, 2017, the WHL Board of Governors approved the transfer of ownership of the ICE franchise from the Chynoweth family to Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell.
“We understand this will be disappointing news for Cranbrook,” said Matt Cockell, President and General Manager of the Kootenay ICE. “Unfortunately, our collective effort failed to achieve the results required to create confidence that the franchise could be viable in this market.”
“The process of relocation is not an easy one and was made with thorough analysis and consideration for all parties,” said Greg Fettes, Majority Owner and Governor of the Kootenay ICE. “The decision to announce prior to the end of the season felt like the right thing to do in order to allow the City of Cranbrook and the ICE to prepare for the future and put an end to the speculation surrounding the franchise.”
The Kootenay ICE will play the balance of the 2018-19 WHL season at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.


http://whl.ca/article/whl-announces-relo...o-winnipeg


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#2
Winnipeg poaches another team  Wink


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#3
One of my colleagues is friends with these guys, he had told me about it a couple months ago, but asked me not to talk about it.

They're supposed to be building a new rink out near the VIP Theater.
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#4
(2019-01-29, 05:56 PM)LeafalCrusader Wrote: Winnipeg poaches another team  Wink

Actually, this is Winnipeg reclaiming
its spot in major junior hockey :
Winnipeg Clubs & Monarchs
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#5
(2019-01-30, 11:57 AM)theDC Wrote: One of my colleagues is friends with these guys, he had told me about it a couple months ago, but asked me not to talk about it.

They're supposed to be building a new rink out near the VIP Theater.

So does this mean the Moose are moving? Generally you don't have both an AHL and major junior team in the same city, especially with an NHL team there.
Humboldt Broncos SJHL April 6, 2018
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#6
(2019-02-19, 02:07 PM)lewis94 Wrote:
(2019-01-30, 11:57 AM)theDC Wrote: One of my colleagues is friends with these guys, he had told me about it a couple months ago, but asked me not to talk about it.

They're supposed to be building a new rink out near the VIP Theater.

So does this mean the Moose are moving? Generally you don't have both an AHL and major junior team in the same city, especially with an NHL team there.

Well, I think they give it a go this next year. But I expect a move of the Moose to Regina or Saskatoon.

The only thing I could see is that True North want to keep the Moose close, they don't really make money on Moose games, it's more to keep the young guys close to the big club.
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#7
So this could be the fruition of a rumour that made the rounds a few years ago in Saskatchewan - that the Moose would move to Saskatoon and the Blades would move to Estevan.

That being said I bet the WHL has better cities lined up than Estevan.
Humboldt Broncos SJHL April 6, 2018
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#8
BAH!! BC gets screwed in this one. Poor attendance? I gotta see the numbers and size of the arena.. Not a big town; maybe what, 55,000 people? Should be big enough. If the Blazers ever get moved though, you can expect WW3 or even Armageddon

This just sucks

Good for Winterpeg though.. Hope it works out. Good to see hockey is alive and well there
Phill 2:10-11 
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#9
Cranbrook is tiny, probably under 20,000 people. I was shocked to learn they even had a WHL team first time I went there for work, so not all that surprising they would move to a larger market.

Kind of surprised it went to Winnipeg though. Figured there would be a better option to grow the league than one with an NHL and AHL team where the WHL team would be the 3rd most popular I would think.
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#10
(2019-04-13, 07:45 AM)Highstyx Wrote: BAH!! BC gets screwed in this one. Poor attendance? I gotta see the numbers and size of the arena.. Not a big town; maybe what, 55,000 people? Should be big enough. If the Blazers ever get moved though, you can expect WW3 or even Armageddon

This just sucks

Good for Winterpeg though.. Hope it works out. Good to see hockey is alive and well there

Was curious so I looked it up. Looks like on average they get the building to about half capacity (2,200 in a 4,200 capacity arena) 

Definitely not great. Only Prince Albert has a worse draw in the WHL at just over 2,000. League average looks to be about 4,500 by the graph I saw. 

Hard to blame ownership for seeking out a better market.
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#11
Their ownership was also responsible for a horrible name and logo and the embarrassing insistence on capitalizing ICE...
Humboldt Broncos SJHL April 6, 2018
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