The Western Hockey League Board of Governors wrapped up their Annual General Meeting today in Vancouver by announcing Governor and General Manager of the Kelowna Rockets Bruce Hamilton has been re-elected as the WHL Chairman of the Board for another two year period. No other Chairman of the Board in WHL history has served more years at the helm than Hamilton, who is now entering his sixth term (1998-2004 and 2008-present).
Edmonton Oil Kings' Governor Patrick LaForge and Seattle Thunderbirds' Governor Russ Farwell have each been re-elected to the WHL Executive Committee for two year terms, representing the WHL Central and U.S. Divisions. They join current Executive Committee members Ron Toigo of the Vancouver Giants' representing the B.C. Division and Jack Brodsky of the Saskatoon Blades representing the East Division, together with WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.
The WHL also announced it remains fully committed to the Seven Point Plan introduced this past season to address player safety concerns in the area of head blows and concussions. The Seven Point Plan includes continued emphasis on discipline as it applies to repeat offenders; production of an education video on player safety; seminar for all General Managers and Head Coaches on September 11, 2012; continuing to provide players with best available protective equipment; working with the WHL Arena Advisory Committee to adopt acrylic glass as a standard for all WHL arenas; continuing to collect and study research data on concussion injuries and their causes.
Despite a slight increase in concussions, the WHL remains confident the Seven Point Plan will assist in reducing concussions in the future.
"We anticipated the rate of concussions may increase this past season as there is more emphasis being placed now than ever before on the care and treatment of concussion injuries," commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. "We remain confident that the WHL's Seven Point Plan will address this matter effectively and reduce concussions in the seasons ahead."
Other highlights from the 2012 WHL Annual General Meeting
- The Conference Playoff format will remain in place for the next two years
- The WHL will launch a combine testing program for WHL Prospects prior to the opening of the 2012-13 season
- The 2012 WHL Pre-Season schedule will be released on Thursday, June 21 and the 2012-13 WHL Regular Season schedule will be released on Wednesday, June 27