WHL League Updates – Spring 2022

By Rich Campbell, Athletic Trainer & Strength and Conditioning Coach, Portland Winterhawks

The WHL extended its regular season schedule by two weeks due to postponed games as result of league wide COVID-19 outbreak in December and January. Instead of ending the first weekend in April, the season will now end on April 17. The players and staff left their team cohort and dispersed to their hometowns for the Holidays. They then returned bringing the Omicron with them. Massive leaguewide testing ensued in an attempt to limit the carnage.  In many cases, players were negative at 9am and positive at 3pm. Crazy!

Congratulations to the following PHATS/SPHEM members for reaching their games worked milestones:

Brooke Kosolofski, Moose Jaw Warriors – 500

Phillip Varney, Seattle Thunderbirds – 1000

Rogan Dean, Edmonton Oil Kings- 1000

Rich Campbell, Portland Winterhawks – 2000* These games were accumulated over multiple professional leagues and the WHL.

Mark “Peaches” Brennan was officially recognized in front of a raucous crowd in February for his inspiring career, including nine years of service as the Head Equipment Manager with the Portland Winterhawks. He finishes his career having worked 2251* games! Thank you, Peaches, for your great work and dedication to your trade.  I look forward to the many years of friendship to come.

Brandon Wheat Kings Equipment Manager Scott “Scooter” Hlady has spearheaded a new charitable initiative titled “Wheat Kings Fight” in support of the Brandon Humane Society. Hockey fans can purchase clothing and support the charity by clicking the link below. 

https://wheatkingsfight.itemorder.com/shop/sale/

For the time being, sweaty nostrils and fogged glasses has come to an end. In all WHL jurisdictions, mask mandates have been lifted. Saskatchewan was the first to lift the mask mandate on February 28, beating out the disgruntled Alberta citizens by one day on March 1. BC’s mask mandate lift came as a big surprise on March 11. Oregon and Washington reluctantly secured the last position on March 11 at 11:59:59.

The WHL is in the home stretch of its regular season with sights set on battling for the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the first time in three seasons. The Memorial Cup has been scheduled for June 20-29 in in Saint John, New Brunswick.  Here’s to hoping the Cup comes back out West so a few of us can “get right out of ‘er”!

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