After speculation most of the season, the Kootenay ICE franchise's move to Winnipeg ahead of the 2019-20 season became official yesterday.
The Kootenay ICE have resided in Cranbrook since 1998, after a relocation from Edmonton by the Chynoweth family-owned team at the time.
Winnipeg welcoming a WHL team to the city means it's a strong probability the Swift Current Broncos and ICE will exchange divisional places, with the Broncos headed to the Central, and ICE to the East.
In the franchise's time in the B.C. Interior, three WHL Championships ('00, '02, '11) and a Memorial Cup ('02). Broncos fans will remember the ties to that 2011 title, after trading captain Cody Eakin to the ICE. Eakin tied for the team lead in points over the WHL playoffs (27) and Memorial Cup tournament (6).
This season however, the ICE have been positioned again as sellers during a rebuild, dealing away a pile of veterans ahead of early January's deadline.
The ICE sit second-last in the league at 10-32-7-1, and five points up on the Broncos, though Swift still has three games in hand.
Over 25 home games so far this season, Kootenay has averaged just short of 2218 fans per-game, dipping down below 2000 four times.
The 26th home game will be against the Broncos on Friday, after Swift Current's game Wednesday night against the Calgary Hitmen in southwest Saskatchewan. It will be Swift Current's second-last trip to Cranbrook.