WHL to shorten schedule to 68 games in 2018-19 season

WHL teams will play fewer games beginning in the 2018-19 season.

The league’s board of governors voted Thursday to adopt a 68-game schedule to mirror what occurs in the other two CHL loops — the OHL and QMJHL. The decision lops four contests off the 72-game schedule WHL teams have played since 1975-76.

The league said the rationale for the change is to reduce travel, balance the schedule, and allow more time for practice and academic studies. The schedule format has yet to be released.

“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,” WHL commissioner Ron Robison said in a statement. “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.”