WHL announces Kootenay Ice move to Winnipeg

Kootenay Ice (Wikimedia Commons)

The Western Hockey League announced on Wednesday that the Kootenay Ice will move from Cranbrook, British Columbia to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the 2019-2020 season and be known as the Winnipeg Ice. This will be the third significant hockey team in Winnipeg, as the Ice will join the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League and the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

The Ice plan to play their first two seasons at the Wayne Fleming Arena at the University of Manitoba the next two seasons, and then move into the newly built Oak Bluff Arena with a seating capacity of 4500. Oak Bluff is located 21 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

It is expected the Ice will move from the Central Division to Eastern Division of the Western Hockey League and the Swift Current Broncos will move from the Eastern Division to the Central Division. The Broncos were in the Central Division previously in 1995-96 and again from 2001-06.

It has been a tough season for the Ice. They are in last place in the Central Division with a record of 10 wins, 32 regulation losses, seven overtime losses and one shootout loss for 28 points. One bright spot for the Ice however has been the play of their superstar Peyton Krebs. The center from Okotoks, Alberta leads the team with 54 points in 46 games and is projected to be a top five pick in the 2019 National Hockey League Entry Draft in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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