WHL expansion to be reviewed

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

WHL commissioner Ron Robison has a vision of the future of his league, and the view from the top includes expanding to 22 teams for the 2006-07 season.

Whether Robison's vision is agreeable to WHL governors and whether that translates to granting the Edmonton Oilers the expansion franchise they covet won't be decided until a vote in October, but it's sounding more likely the WHL is on its way back to Edmonton.

"Edmonton fits the vision we've put forward as far as potentially adding a 22nd team," Robison told the Sun after the WHL board convened in Calgary yesterday. "It's a question of if the governors agree. My view of it is we should consider it in October and probably find a way for Edmonton to join the league."

WHL governors gather in Calgary Oct. 12, and indications are that'll be the date expansion is actually voted on.

Between now and then, Robison said governors will continue to study the implications of expansion and may ask the Oilers to make a presentation to the board outlining the merits of the return of the WHL to Edmonton.

The significance of yesterday's meeting, according to Robison, is a sense governors are leaning toward a 22-team league and a balanced schedule after going to 21 teams with the addition of Chilliwack in April.


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