MAJOR | Western Hockey League franchise announces they're relocating

Published June 16, 2023 at 2:25 PM

After years of off-ice struggles in trying to find a new arena, the Winnipeg Ice have announced that they will be relocating this summer.

In a statement from the Ice on Friday, they said the team has been purchased by David White, who is moving the team to Wenatchee, Washington beginning in the 2023-24 season.

The sale and relocation of the Winnipeg franchise has received the approval of the WHL Board of Governors and is effective immediately.

"The ICE would like to thank the fans, players, staff, billets, community and business partners for their support and engagement with the team. In addition, the ICE express thanks and gratitude to Shaftesbury High School and the University of Manitoba for their partnership over the last 4 years.

Wenatchee is no stranger to hockey, as they've been the home to a BCHL franchise called the 'Wild' since 2013. They'll now cease to exist in the BCHL and will go by the name 'Wenatchee Wild' in the Western Hockey League." The Winnipeg Ice said.

The Ice first relocated to Winnipeg from Cranbrook, British Columbia in 2019 after 21 years known as the Kootenay Ice. As mentioned, the franchise was trying to build a new arena in Winnipeg and were forced to play out of the 1,600-seat Wayne Fleming Arena from when they moved to the Manitoba capital until this past season.

In the last two seasons on the ice, the Ice enjoyed plenty of success, including a trip to the WHL Championship Series, where they ultimately lost to the powerhouse Seattle Thunderbirds. They also had three players in the top-ten in league points with 2023 prospect Zach Benson (98 points), Buffalo Sabres prospect Matthew Savoie (95 points) and overage forward Connor McClennon (92 points).

June 16   |   121 answers
MAJOR | Western Hockey League franchise announces they're relocating

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