CALGARY — The Western Hockey League's board of governors has extended the contract of commissioner Ron Robison for three years.
Robison's 22nd season as commissioner in 2021-22 will make him the longest-serving ahead of Ed Chynoweth's 21 years between 1973 and 1979, and 1980 and 1985.
Robison of Indian Head, Sask., joined the WHL in 2000 after 20 years as a Hockey Canada executive. His contract extension runs through the 2023-24 season.
The WHL has expanded by four teams during Robison's tenure.
The WHL and its Ontario and Quebec major junior league counterparts in the Canadian Hockey League were defendants in a lawsuit in 2020.
The CHL agreed to a settlement with players who argued they were professionals when they played in those leagues and sued for back wages and benefits.
Robison guided the WHL through the COVID-19 pandemic and delivered a shortened 2020-21 season.
"Over 21 years, Ron has done a tremendous job of continually elevating the Western Hockey League, including guiding the WHL through the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring all clubs were able to deliver a development season for WHL players,'' WHL board chairman Bruce Hamilton said Friday in a statement.
"As we emerge from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ron's continued leadership will be vital for the WHL to maintain its standing as a world leader in hockey development, player experience, and hockey scholarships.''
The WHL is comprised of 22 clubs from Manitoba to B.C., and in two U.S. states,