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Central Hockey League

Central Hockey League
200px
Final CHL logo
Replaced by ECHL (partial)[1]
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1992
Countries 23x15px United States
23x15px Canada
Ceased 2014
Last champion(s) Allen Americans
Most titles (tie) Allen Americans, Wichita Thunder, Oklahoma City Blazers, Memphis RiverKings, Laredo Bucks, & Colorado Eagles (2)
Official website www.centralhockeyleague.com

The Central Hockey League (CHL) was a North American mid-level minor professional ice hockey league which operated in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Until 2013, it was owned by Global Entertainment Corporation, at which point it was purchased by the individual franchise owners.

As of the end of its final season in 2014, three of the 30 National Hockey League teams had affiliations with the CHL: the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Several teams of defunct leagues joined the CHL along its history, most notably the Southern Hockey League, Western Professional Hockey League and International Hockey League. After two teams suspended operations during the 2014 offseason, the remaining seven were accepted as members of the ECHL in October 2014, meaning the end for the CHL after 22 seasons.[1]

History

The Central Hockey League (CHL) was revived in 1992 by Ray Miron and the efforts of Bill Levins, with the idea of central ownership of both the league and the teams. Both men were from hockey backgrounds. Miron had been general manager of the Colorado Rockies (now the New Jersey Devils), and had briefly been president of the previous Central Hockey League in 1976.

In the inaugural 1992–93 season the league had six teams, including the Oklahoma City Blazers, the Tulsa Oilers, the Wichita Thunder, the Memphis RiverKings, the Dallas Freeze and the Fort Worth Fire. The Thunder and the Oilers are the last of the league's original teams extant.

In 1996–97 the Huntsville Channel Cats, along with the planned 1996–97 Southern Hockey League expansion teams Columbus Cottonmouths, Macon Whoopee, and Nashville Nighthawks, joined the Central Hockey League following the SHL's demise.

After Levins died, the league's championship trophy (awarded to the winner of the CHL playoffs) was renamed the Levins Cup. After running the league for eight years, Miron retired in 2000 and sold the league. The Levins Cup was renamed the Ray Miron President's Cup.

After experiments in expansion and an ongoing battle for players and markets with the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) throughout the late 1990s, the CHL merged with the WPHL in 2001, with 10 former WPHL teams joining the CHL for the 2001–02 season. However, several years of gradual contraction in the former WPHL markets claimed most of these teams in the ensuing years. The last active former WPHL team, the Fort Worth Brahmas, effectively ceased operations following the 2012–13 season.

Subsequently, in 2010, the International Hockey League folded and all five remaining IHL teams joined the CHL. As of the end of the 2013–14 season only the Quad City Mallards remain from the former IHL.

In October 2013, the CHL appointed former president of the Pittsburgh Penguins and President of NHL Enterprises for fifteen years Steve Ryan as its league Commissioner. He succeeded Duane Lewis who worked with the league for several years in a variety of capacities culminating as league commissioner. Duane succeeded Brad Treliving on an interim basis after Treliving took a position with the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes following the 2006–07 season. Treliving co-founded the WPHL in 1996, and after the 2001 merger, served with the CHL for seven years.[2] Lewis was named the permanent commissioner in June 2008.[3]

On March 8, 2013, the Central Hockey League announced an expansion team in Brampton, Ontario. The Brampton Beast would become the first Canadian team in the CHL's history.

In October 2013, the Central Hockey League was purchased from Global Entertainment by all the team owners, putting the CHL business model in line with that of the NHL and AHL.

On May 2, 2014 the St. Charles Chill ceased operations.

According to the Central Hockey League website, within two days, the Arizona Sundogs and Denver Cutthroats "suspended operations, effective immediately, and will not compete in the 2014-15 season. The teams will look to secure additional investors with the hope of returning for the 2015-16 campaign."[4]

On October 7, 2014, it was announced that the ECHL would absorb the Central Hockey League's remaining seven teams to begin play for the 2014–15 season, officially signaling the end of the CHL.[5][6]

Teams

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A map showing the expanse of all historical CHL teams
8px Teams joined the ECHL on October 7, 2014
8px Teams that joined another league prior to the folding of the CHL
8px Defunct, relocated, or folded to make room for team from another league

Timeline

<timeline> DateFormat = mm/dd/yyyy ImageSize = width:800 height:auto barincrement:20 Period = from:01/01/1992 till:10/07/2014 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal PlotArea = right:5 left:5 bottom:50 top:5

Colors =

id:line value:black

PlotData=

width:15 textcolor:black shift:(5,-5) anchor:from fontsize:s
bar:1 color:tan1 from:10/01/1992 till:08/01/1995 text:Dallas Freeze (1992–95)
bar:2 color:tan1 from:10/01/1992 till:08/01/1999 text:Fort Worth Fire (1992–99)
bar:3 color:tan1 from:10/01/1992 till:08/01/2007 text:Memphis RiverKings (1992–2007)
bar:3 color:tan1 from:10/01/2007 till:06/13/2011 text:Mississippi RiverKings (2007–11)
bar:4 color:tan1 from:10/01/1992 till:07/02/2009 text:Oklahoma City Blazers (1992–2009)
bar:5 color:tan2 from:10/01/1992 till:end        text:Tulsa Oilers (1992–2014)
bar:6 color:tan2 from:10/01/1992 till:end        text:Wichita Thunder (1992–2014)
bar:7 color:tan1 from:10/01/1994 till:08/01/1997 text:San Antonio Iguanas (1994–97, 1998–2002)
bar:7 color:tan1 from:10/01/1998 till:06/26/2002
bar:8 color:tan1 from:10/01/1996 till:06/25/2001 text:Columbus Cottonmouths (1996–2001)
bar:9  color:tan1 from:10/01/1996 till:08/01/2001 text:Huntsville Channel Cats / Tornado (1996–2001)
bar:10 color:tan1 from:10/01/1996 till:08/01/2001 text:Macon Whoopee (1996–2001)
bar:11 color:tan1 from:10/01/1996 till:06/01/1998 text:Nashville Nighthawks / Ice Flyers (1996–98)
bar:12 color:tan1 from:10/01/1997 till:08/01/2001 text:Fayetteville Force (1997–2001)
bar:13 color:tan1 from:10/01/1998 till:04/10/2001 text:Topeka ScareCrows (1998–2001)
bar:14 color:tan1 from:10/01/1999 till:08/01/2004 text:Indianapolis Ice (1999–2004)
bar:14 color:tan1 from:10/01/2004 till:08/01/2005 text:Topeka Tarantulas (2004–05)
bar:15 color:tan1 from:10/01/2000 till:02/20/2001 text:Border City Bandits (2000–01)
bar:16 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:05/19/2010 text:Amarillo Rattlers / Gorillas (2001–10)
bar:17 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:05/07/2008 text:Austin Ice Bats (2001–08)
bar:18 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:06/10/2011 text:Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (2001–11)
bar:19 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:05/21/2010 text:Corpus Christi IceRays (2001–10)
bar:20 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:08/01/2003 text:El Paso Buzzards (2001–03)
bar:21 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:08/01/2006 text:Fort Worth / Texas Brahmas (2001–06, 2007–13)
bar:21 color:tan1 from:10/01/2007 till:06/16/2013
bar:22 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:06/20/2007 text:Lubbock Cotton Kings (2001–07)
bar:23 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:08/01/2005 text:New Mexico Scorpions (2001–05, 2006-09)
bar:23 color:tan1 from:10/01/2006 till:07/02/2009 
bar:24 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:05/01/2011 text:Odessa Jackalopes (2001–11)
bar:25 color:tan1 from:10/01/2001 till:08/01/2005 text:San Angelo Saints / Outlaws (2001–05)
bar:26 color:tan1 from:10/01/2002 till:05/01/2012 text:Laredo Bucks (2002–12)
bar:26 color:tan1 from:10/01/2013 till:05/02/2014 shift:(-90) text:St. Charles Chill (2013–14)
bar:27 color:tan1 from:10/01/2003 till:05/29/2011 text:Colorado Eagles (2003–11)
bar:28 color:tan1 from:10/01/2003 till:06/20/2012 text:[Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (CHL)|[Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees]] (2003–12)
bar:30 color:tan1 from:10/01/2005 till:06/02/2008 text:Youngstown SteelHounds (2005–08)
bar:31 color:tan1 from:10/01/2006 till:08/20/2014 text:Arizona Sundogs (2006–14)
bar:32 color:tan1 from:10/01/2006 till:06/18/2009 text:Rocky Mountain Rage (2006–09)
bar:33 color:tan2 from:10/01/2008 till:end                    text:Rapid City Rush (2008–14)
bar:34 color:tan2 from:10/01/2009 till:end                    text:Allen Americans (2009–14)
bar:35 color:tan2 from:10/01/2009 till:end                    text:Missouri Mavericks (2009–14)
bar:36 color:tan1 from:10/01/2010 till:07/03/2011 shift:(-50) text:Bloomington PrairieThunder (2010–11)
bar:37 color:tan1 from:10/01/2010 till:05/17/2012             text:Dayton Gems (2010–12)
bar:38 color:tan1 from:10/01/2010 till:05/17/2012  shift:(-5) text:Evansville IceMen (2010–12)
bar:39 color:tan1 from:10/01/2010 till:05/17/2012 shift:(-15) text:Fort Wayne Komets (2010–12)
bar:40 color:tan2 from:10/01/2010 till:end        shift:(-15) text:Quad City Mallards (2010–14)
bar:41 color:tan1 from:10/01/2011 till:05/15/2013 shift:(-45) text:Bloomington Blaze (2011–13)
bar:42 color:tan1 from:10/01/2012 till:08/20/2014 shift:(-80) text:Denver Cutthroats (2012–14)
bar:43 color:tan2 from:10/01/2013 till:end        shift:(-105) text:Brampton Beast (2013–14)

ScaleMajor = gridcolor:line unit:year increment:2 start:1992

</timeline>

Expansion

Year Teams Expansion Defunct Suspended Return from Hiatus Relocated Name Changes
1992–93 6 Dallas Freeze
Fort Worth Fire
Memphis RiverKings
Oklahoma City Blazers
Tulsa Oilers
Wichita Thunder
1993–94 6
1994–95 7 San Antonio Iguanas
1995–96 6 Dallas Freeze
1996–97 10 Columbus Cottonmouths
Huntsville Channel Cats
Macon Whoopie
Nashville Nighthawks
1997–98 10 Fayetteville Force San Antonio Iguanas Nashville Nighthawks → Nashville Ice Flyers
1998–99 11 Topeka Scarecrows Nashville Ice Flyers San Antonio Iguanas
1999–00 11 Indianapolis Ice Fort Worth Fire
2000–01 12 Border City Bandits Border City Bandits (defunct mid-season) Huntsville Channel Cats → Huntsville Tornado
2001–02 16 Amarillo Rattlers (from WPHL)
Austin Ice Bats (from WPHL)
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (from WPHL)
Corpus Christi Ice Rays (from WPHL)
El Paso Buzzards (from WPHL)
Fort Worth Brahmas (from WPHL)
Lubbock Cotton Kings (from WPHL)
New Mexico Scorpions (from WPHL)
Odessa Jackalopes (from WPHL)
San Angelo Outlaws (from WPHL)
Columbus Cottonmouths (to ECHL)
Fayetteville Force
Huntsville Tornado
Macon Whoopie
Topeka Scarecrows
2002–03 16 Laredo Bucks San Antonio Iguanas Amarillo Rattlers → Amarillo Gorillas
San Angelo Outlaws → San Angelo Saints
2003–04 17 Colorado Eagles
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
El Paso Buzzards Corpus Christi Ice Rays → Corpus Christi Rayz
2004–05 17 Indianapolis Ice → Topeka Tarantulas
2005–06 15 Youngstown SteelHounds San Angelo Saints
Topeka Tarantulas
New Mexico Scorpions
2006–07 17 Arizona Sundogs
Rocky Mountain Rage
Fort Worth Brahmas New Mexico Scorpions
2007–08 17 Lubbock Cotton Kings Fort Worth Brahmas Fort Worth Brahmas → Texas Brahmas
Memphis RiverKings → Mississippi RiverKings
2008–09 16 Rapid City Rush Austin Ice Bats
Youngstown Steelhounds
Corpus Christi Rayz → Corpus Christi IceRays
2009–10 15 Allen Americans
Missouri Mavericks
New Mexico Scorpions
Oklahoma City Blazers
Rocky Mountain Rage
2010–11 18 Bloomington PrairieThunder (from IHL)
Dayton Gems (from IHL)
Evansville IceMen (from IHL)
Fort Wayne Komets (from IHL)
Quad City Mallards (from IHL)
Amarillo Gorillas
Corpus Christi IceRays (replaced by NAHL)
2011–12 14 Bloomington Blaze Bloomington Prairie Thunder
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
Colorado Eagles (to ECHL)
Mississippi RiverKings (to SPHL)
Odessa Jackalopes (replaced by NAHL[7])
2012–13 10 Denver Cutthroats Evansville IceMen (to ECHL)
Fort Wayne Komets (to ECHL)
Dayton Gems
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
Laredo Bucks Texas Brahmas → Fort Worth Brahmas
2013–14 10 Brampton Beast Bloomington Blaze (to SPHL)
Fort Worth Brahmas
Laredo Bucks Laredo Bucks → St. Charles Chill

League champions

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "ECHL Accepts Seven New Members", ECHL, October 7, 2014. (accessed 13 October 2014)
  2. ^ "Treliving new Coyotes assistant GM". Azcentral.com. July 19, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  3. ^ "News". centralhockeyleague.com. June 17, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Denver Elects Dormancy for the 2014-15 Season". centralhockeyleague.com. August 20, 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  5. ^ "CHL Clubs Join ECHL for 2014-15 Season". Central Hockey League. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ "ECHL Accepts Seven Members". ECHL. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Jacks make move to North American Hockey League official | hockey, league, american - Central Hockey League - Odessa American Online". Oaoa.com. 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  • Stott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. pp. 16–201. ISBN 1-894974-21-2. 

External links