The Western Hockey League is launching a tweaked playoff format, mirroring the new structure installed by the National Hockey League this season.
Under the new format, the top three teams from each of the WHL’s four divisions will fill the first 12 playoff spots, with the remaining four squads being two wildcards from each conference. The division winners will be matched up with the wildcard teams for the first round of the playoffs.
Under the new system, a division could have as many as five playoff teams and a minimum of three. The second- and third-place finishers from each division will play one another in the first round of the playoffs.
Previously, the top eight teams from each conference advanced to the post-season and were seeded from 1-8 regardless of division, with the exception that the division leaders were guaranteed the top two seeds for the first round.
The league’s board of governors approved the change at their annual general meeting in Vancouver on Wednesday. The WHL also announced that Bruce Hamilton of the Kelowna Rockets has been elected chairman of the board for a seventh term.
» Brandon Sun