CALGARY, ALBERTA – Hockey Canada and the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship Host Committee, along with key partner the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced on Thursday, that all 58 CHL teams will wear a 2006 WJHC crest on CHL team sweaters to celebrate and promote the 2006 World Juniors in British Columbia, from December 26, 2005 through January 5, 2006.
The crest will be worn on the sweater by every player in the CHL, on both their home and road jerseys. The crests are being distributed to all teams by the three respective leagues, and will be displayed on all team jerseys by and worn until the end of the World Juniors, on January 5th.
The crest features the logo of the 2006 World Junior Championship. It depicts the passion, pride and excitement Canadians have for hockey and for this great tournament through its burning maple leaf icon. The 2006 portion of the word mark shows the global aspect of the tournament and symbolizes the gold medal quest each team has during the competition.
The Canadian Hockey League is comprised of the Ontario Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior League and the Western Hockey League. Forty-nine (49) of the 58 existing CHL franchises are located in Canada (A 59th expansion, in Chilliwack, BC, is set to join the CHL for the 2006-07 season). The CHL is the premier development league in the World, and has helped develop over 50% of current NHL players. Over the course of the history of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence (1982-2005), the CHL has placed a total of 470 players (of 511) on Canada’s National Junior Team rosters, which represents 92% of National Junior Team Alumnus.
"The CHL is extremely proud of its partnership with Hockey Canada when it comes to Canada's National Junior Team and the hosting of the World Junior Championships in Canada", said David Branch, President of the CHL and OHL Commissioner. "By the wearing of the World Junior Tournament event crest on all CHL Member Team game jerseys, we are not only demonstrating our linkage with the event, but as well it is an opportunity of expressing our appreciation and thanking the Tournament organizers and the hundreds of volunteers in British Columbia who will make this year's event the best ever".
“Since the very beginning of the Program of Excellence, back in 1982, the Canadian Hockey League has been a great supporter of the National Junior Team and the World Junior Championship,” said Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada. “The fact that all fifty-eight member teams of the CHL will be assisting in promoting this great event is further testimony to the CHL’s commitment to this event and Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence.”
The Canadian Hockey League assists Hockey Canada in assembling Canada’s National Junior Team, as well as presenting the World Junior Championship, when it is held in Canada. League commissioners David Branch (OHL), Gilles Courteau (QMJHL) and Ron Robison (WHL) are members of the National Junior Team Policy Committee and Branch was also a member of the 2006 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Site Selection Committee.
About the Canadian Hockey League
The Canadian Hockey League is the world’s largest development hockey league with 59 teams (including 1 expansion team for 2006-07) in ten Canadian provinces and five American states. The CHL is made up of the OHL, QMJHL and WHL. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and the MasterCard Memorial Cup national championship. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League than any other league. More than 300 graduates attend Canadian Universities on scholarships from CHL teams. For more information on the CHL: www.chl.ca