The Canadian Junior Hockey League and Nanaimo Clippers held a media conference Thursday in Nanaimo - the host community of the 2013 Western Canada Cup - to introduce the community, media and fans to the newly formed event and a chance to welcome the executives from the four western leagues to the host city.
“We are incredibly excited to be awarded the opportunity to bring the inaugural Western Canada Cup to the city of Nanaimo, our loyal fans, and corporate sponsors”, stated Nanaimo Clippers owner Ken Wagner. “The Western Canada Cup will be a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our beautiful city and province. It creates an equally exciting opportunity to showcase Western Canada’s top hockey talent to our deserving fans. We are confident our tournament committee will set exceptional standards with the inaugural Western Canada Cup.”
The 2013 Western Canada Cup Host Committee is already in full motion preparing for the event in Nanaimo. “The key positions on the host organizing committee are now in place and we are extremely eager to begin the detailed planning associated with an event of this prestige and magnitude,” stated Host Committee Chair Graham Calder. “Nanaimo is the right city for this inaugural event due to the strong support from the Clipper organization, our fans and business supporters. As we move towards the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, we will be reaching out to the great volunteer community in Nanaimo to help stage this event and to set a very high standard for this tournament going forward."
The CJHL, in conjunction with the host committee, unveiled the official logo for the Western Canada Cup. The Western Canada Cup logo is based on the classic shield and banner motif, and reflects the four leagues through the use of the four stars in the banner. The distinctive Western Canada Cup wordmark reflects a modern, high energy tone and incorporates red to represent Canada. The bold graphic outline and overall balanced composition provide a solid, confident icon to represent the ideals of sportsmanship and excellence in Western Canadian Junior Hockey. The colours used within the Western Canada Cup logo pays homage to the CJHL using the same palette to unite the four leagues under the CJHL.
Canadian Junior Hockey League Chairman Kirk Lamb believes the new regional playoff format will increase exposure for the athletes and further highlight Junior A hockey across Canada, “The Western Canada Cup will create great excitement for our fans, teams and communities across the western provinces. This new event, along with the Fred Page Cup in the East and Dudley-Hewitt Cup in Ontario, will foster an even higher level of competition and talent. The Western Canada Cup represents an extension of the great partnerships being created by the Junior A leagues in the West which have continued to benefit the CJHL.”
The 2013 Western Canada Cup will be held from April 26 to May 5. The event will be hosted by the BCHL in 2013, followed by the MJHL (2014), AJHL (2015), and SJHL (2016). A Site Selection Committee will be responsible for selecting a host team annually, upon the recommendation of the host league.
The Western Canada Cup:In January 2012, the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced a new regional playoff format for its four western provinces. The British Columbia Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Manitoba Junior Hockey League will participate in a five-team tournament and award the first-ever Western Canada Cup beginning in 2013.
The Western Canada Cup will include a host team and the champion from each of the four western leagues. The 13-game tournament will include a round-robin schedule followed by two semifinal games and a championship game. The winner and runner-up will both represent Western Canada at the RBC Cup National Junior A Championship.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)