Calgary Hitmen

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The Calgary Hitmen are a major junior ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Hitmen play in the Central Division of the Western Hockey League (WHL). They play their home games at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Bret "The Hitman" Hart, a local-born professional wrestler, was a founding owner as well as the inspiration for the team's name. Established in 1994, the team has been owned by the Calgary Flames hockey club since 1997. They are the third WHL team to represent Calgary, preceded by the Centennials and Wranglers.

The Hitmen have finished with the best record in the WHL four times, and qualified for the playoffs for thirteen consecutive seasons between 1998 and 2010. In 1999, they became the first Calgary team to win the President's Cup as league champions, and the first to represent the city in the Memorial Cup since the Calgary Canadians won the national junior title in 1926. The Hitmen hold numerous WHL attendance records, and in 2004–05 became the first team in Canadian Hockey League history to average 10,000 fans per game. Thirty-four former Hitmen players have gone on to play in the National Hockey League. They are the defending league champions, winning their second title in 2009–10.

Franchise history

Graham James left his position as coach and general manager of the Swift Current Broncos to found the Hitmen in 1994. He organized a group of eighteen investors in the club, including star National Hockey League...
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