About the Red Deer Rebels
The Red Deer Rebels entered the Western Hockey League in 1992-93 as an expansion team under the ownership of Terry and Wayne Simpson. The team set a Western Hockey League record for wins by an expansion club with 31 and qualified for the post season.
The Rebels won their first playoff series in 1996 with a 4 games to 2 series victory over the Swift Current Broncos.
The team was purchased by Brent Sutter in May of 1999. He guided the Rebels to a Memorial Cup Championship in 2001, as well as winning the Eastern Conference Championships again in 2002 and 2003. From 2001 to 2003, there were 14 players from the Red Deer Rebels taken in the National Hockey League Entry Draft, including five players taken in the first round.
The Red Deer Rebels have hosted a few marquee Canadian Hockey League events. In 2002, the Hershey Cup was played at the ENMAX Centrium. That game had the all-stars from the WHL’s Eastern Conference take on an all star squad from the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference. In 2005, the WHL Selects faced the Russian Selects in the Canada Russia Challenge. The ENMAX Centrium and Red Deer Rebels also hosted game 7 of the 2007 Canada Russia Super Series.
Over the years, there have been former Rebels that have gone on to National Hockey League careers such as Dion Phaneuf (Cgy), Cam Ward (Car), Martin Erat (Nsh), Jim Vandermeer (Phi,Chi,Cgy), Colby Armstrong (Pit,Atl), Kyle Wanvig (Min,TB), Arron Asham (NYI,NJ), Jeff Woywitka (Phi,St.L), Boyd Gordon (Wsh), Martin Hanzal (Pho) Blair Jones (TB), Mikhail Yakubov (Chi,Fla) and Darren Van Impe (Ana) just to mention a few.
Many more have moved on to minor professional careers, or have chosen to go to Canadian universities after their time in the Western Hockey League and some have also represented their country in International Competition.
The Rebels hosted Game 7 of the Canada Russia Super Series in 2007. In front of over 6500 fans at the ENMAX Centrium, Canada and Russia battled to a 4-4 draw.
In 2008, Brent Sutter and the Red Deer Rebels donated a state-of-the art video score clock to the Westerner. The new score clock hangs above center ice at the ENMAX Centrium supplying a live game feed, replays, features and sponsorship messages for the large season ticket and fan base making Red Deer a highly visible market in the Western Hockey League.
About the ENMAX Centrium
The ENMAX Centrium, completed in 1991, is a landmark of central Alberta. This multi-use facility accommodates concerts, hockey, motor sports, ice shows, major curling events, circuses, boxing, rodeos, wrestling, trade shows, marching band competitions, and conventions, all of which find a comfortable fit.
Recognizing the vast variety of events, seating configurations range from 2,000 to 6,828. Every show can have that "full house" atmosphere as floor-to-ceiling divider curtains mask off the unused portions of seating.
The most up-to-date lighting, communications, and audio/visual systems have been incorporated into the ENMAX Centrium's design. A great deal of emphasis was placed on acoustics, so visitors can expect to hear concert-sound quality.