the lack of clubs in the west continues

On Friday night, Kaiden Guhle’s WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings lost 3-2 to OHL winners Hamilton Bulldogs.

To learn more about this game, you can read my colleague Charles-Alexis Brisebois’ article.

With this loss, the Oil Kings finished last overall and were eliminated from the Memorial Cup. This is another failure for a WHL club. No champion of this league has qualified for the semi-finals of this tournament since 2015.

The Regina Pats did it in 2018 and the Red Deer Rebels in 2016, but it was as hosts.

Not only do these teams not get very far in the tournament, they even struggle to win a single game.

Edmonton’s victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs was the first time the WHL champion had won a Memorial Cup game since 2015.

But what can explain this lethargy?

Some argue that there may be too many teams in the WHL. In fact, it consists of 22 teams while Ontario has 20 and Quebec has 18. This would mean that the level of teams would be diluted as players are spread across more teams.

It can also be a simple slump, a bit like the QMJHL in the 1980s.

Remember that from 1982 to 1995 no team at the Courteau Circuit won a Memorial Cup. That shortage only ended in 1996 when the Granby Predators, led by their coach Michel Therrien and players including Francis Bouillon and Georges Laraque, defeated the Peterborough Petes 4-0 in the final.

Since then, QMJHL teams have won nine of the 24 editions of this tournament.

Since 2011, five of the nine titles have been won by teams from Quebec or the Maritimes.

With Saint-Jean just qualifying for another final and the Cataractes having a chance to do so tomorrow, we could be entitled to another Courteau circuit crowning achievement.


– Impressive

– Gallagher became a member of the Canadiens organization 12 years ago.

– There are not only points in life.

– Good company

– With the Canadians having the first pick of the Panthers, I can’t wait to see how their season unfolds.

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