The Western Hockey League announced today its schedule of games for the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season.
This will mark the second-consecutive season of a 68-game schedule. The 2019-20 WHL Regular Season schedule will begin Friday, September 20, as seven teams host season-opening games.
As defending WHL Champions, the Prince Albert Raiders will open the season at home, welcoming the Saskatoon Blades on Friday, September 20 (7 p.m. MT). The defending Western Conference Champion Vancouver Giants will open their campaign on the road, visiting the Prince George Cougars on Friday, September 20 (7 p.m. PT) with another game in northern B.C. on Saturday, September 21 (7 p.m. PT).
The Kelowna Rockets, host of the 2020 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia, will open their season at home, playing host to the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday, September 21 (7:05 p.m. PT).
In addition to the WHL’s regular season schedule, the WHL and the cities of Saskatoon and Prince Albert will serve as the official hosts for two games of the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series in November. Team WHL will face the Russian National Junior Team in Saskatoon on Wednesday, November 13, and in Prince Albert on Thursday, November 14. Having hosted the opening two games of the series for the past five seasons, the WHL will host the final two games of the series this year for the first time since 2013.
With a 68-game schedule in effect for a second-consecutive season, WHL member Clubs will be able to further enhance the WHL player experience. With a reduction in travel and balancing of the schedule, players and teams will be able to devote further time to training and skill development, as well as academic enrichment.
Once again, the bulk of WHL regular season games will be played on weekends. In total, 614 games will be played on weekends, holidays and over the Christmas break, which accounts for 82.0 per cent of all games during the 2019-20 regular season. This marks an increase from the 607 games (81.1 per cent) played on weekends, holidays and over the Christmas break during the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season. Weekend game totals have increased by 5.7 per cent since 2017-18 prior to the 68-game schedule being implemented, and 7.8 per cent overall since 2010-11.
The most significant weekday change is seen on Thursday, where four fewer games will be played in 2019-20 (two games versus six games in 2018-19). In total, six fewer weekday games will be played in 2019-20 (182 versus 188 in 2018-19).
2019-20 WHL Regular Season Schedule by Day versus 2018-19 WHL Regular Season Schedule by Day
2019-20 Total Games: 748
2018-19 Total Games: 748
Monday 19 (2.5%) 15 (2.0%)
Tuesday 64 (8.5%) 68 (9.0%)
Wednesday 97 (12.9%) 98 (13.1%)
Thursday 2 (0.2%) 6 (0.8%)
Friday 233 (31.1%) 231 (30.8%)
Saturday 251 (33.5%) 240 (32.0%)
Sunday 82 (10.9%) 90 (12.0%)
The 748-game WHL Regular Season concludes Sunday, March 22, with the 2020 WHL Playoffs and the battle for the Ed Chynoweth Cup beginning Friday, March 27.
CLICK HERE to view the entire 2019-20 WHL Regular Season schedule.