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Oilers Granted WHL Team
Expansion club to play in Edmonton starting in 2007

By: WHL Press Release -
June 27, 2006

Oilers Granted WHL Team Ron Robison, Commissioner, Western Hockey League announced today the Edmonton Investors Group, owners of the Edmonton Oilers NHL franchise, have satisfied all conditions set by the WHL and have been officially awarded a WHL franchise commencing the 2007-08 WHL season.

Key conditions for the granting of the WHL franchise to Edmonton included securing a long term lease with Northlands for the WHL franchise to play all of it’s home games at Rexall Place, a long term business plan for the WHL franchise, including a proposed operating structure and a commitment to operate a WHL franchise in the City of Edmonton for a minimum of ten years.

The Edmonton franchise becomes the 22nd member club in the WHL in 2007-08, and will begin the process of adding players to a protected list in October 2006 prior to the WHL Bantam Draft in May 2007 and the WHL Expansion Draft and the CHL Import Draft in June 2007.

Edmonton is a city rich in hockey tradition dating back to the Edmonton Oil Kings, who won the Memorial Cup twice in 1963 and 1966 and also went on to capture back to back WHL Championships in 1971 and 1972 led by Bill Hunter, a key contributor to the birth of the Western Hockey League.

The WHL makes its return to the Alberta Capital after the Edmonton Ice relocated to Cranbrook, BC to become the Kootenay Ice for the 1998-99 WHL season.

Edmonton Oilers President and CEO Patrick Laforge will serve as Governor of the Edmonton WHL franchise.

The WHL will begin expansion for the upcoming season as the league will welcome its 21st franchise, the Chilliwack Bruins, who will begin play in the 2006-07 WHL season.

For further information, please contact Jeff Urkevich, WHL Director of Communications at (403) 693-3040 (Office), or cellular (403) 690-5116.
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