There could be a war for junior hockey fans brewing in Western Alberta.
A report coming out of the Alberta capital region, along with a press release earlier this month from the Western States Hockey League indicates that the league wants to expand into B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, creating a new division.
The Tier II league compares itself to Junior A. They currently have 23 teams in existence, stretching from Bellingham, Washington, south to El Paso, Texas and east to Springfield, Missouri.
The report on Tuesday indicates that Whitecourt is on the league’s radar, along with Morinville, Cold Lake, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and a team in Saskatchewan.
Commissioner Ron White told XM 105 FM that they have their eyes set on a handful of communities north of Edmonton.
It would differ from the Alberta Junior Hockey League, as the WSHL uses a pay-to-play system, with players dropping between $5000 and $10,000 annually. There are players on rosters this year from 26 countries.
As for scheduling, teams would play solely within their own division throughout the year, with the exception of a college showcase event and the Thorne Cup in April.
The Whitecourt Minor Hockey Association hasn’t been approached about putting a team in the region.
White hopes to name the locations of the new teams by the end of February.