The Western Hockey League is shortening its regular season schedule starting next year.
The WHL announced Thursday that its Board of Governors has adopted a 68-game regular season schedule starting in 2018-19.
WHL teams have played 72 games regular season games each year since 1975-76.
League officials say playing four less games will serve to reduce travel and balance the schedule while providing more time for players to focus on training and skill development, as well as their academic studies.
Further details on the schedule format will be released at a later date.
The Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League already play a 68-game regular season schedule.
“By reducing our WHL Regular Season schedule, I believe this further demonstrates our WHL Club commitment to providing our players with the best possible environment to develop, both as hockey players and student athletes,” said WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “The WHL takes great pride in being a world leader in player development and education opportunities, and we are fully committed to enhancing our player experience on an ongoing basis.”
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