Central Hockey League

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This article is about the current American professional hockey league. For other leagues also called the Central Hockey League, see Central Hockey League (disambiguation).
Central Hockey League
Current season, competition or edition:
2013–14 CHL season
Central Hockey League logo.svg
Central Hockey League logo
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1992
No. of teams 7
Countries  United States
Most recent champion(s) Allen Americans (second title)
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) is a mid-level minor professional hockey league.

Until 2013, it was owned by Global Entertainment Corporation, at which point it was purchased by the individual franchise owners.

3 of the 30 National Hockey League teams have affiliations with the CHL, including the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Its current champions are the Allen Americans, which defeated the Denver Cutthroats four games to one in the 2014 playoffs.


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 what is now the Colorado Rockies, 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 after 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[disambiguation needed] 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 2006–2007 season. Treliving co-founded the WPHL in 1996, and after the 2001 merger, served with the CHL for seven years.[1] Lewis was named the permanent commissioner in June 2008.[2]

On March 8, 2013, the Central Hockey League announced an expansion team in Brampton, Ontario. The Brampton Beast will be 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 suspended operations.

According to the Central Hockey League website, on August 20, 2014 the Denver Cutthroats "suspended operations, effective immediately, and will not compete in the 2014-15 season. The team will look to secure additional investors with the hope of returning for the 2015-16 campaign."[3]



Teams compete annually for the Ray Miron President's Cup.

Berry Conference
Team Arena City/area NHL Affiliate(s) AHL Affiliate(s) President and/or General Manager
Allen Americans Allen Event Center Allen, Texas Dallas Stars Texas Stars Matt Canavan
Brampton Beast Powerade Centre Brampton, Ontario Tampa Bay Lightning Syracuse Crunch Cary Kaplan
Missouri Mavericks Independence Events Center Independence, Missouri N/A Chicago Wolves Brent Theissen
Quad City Mallards iWireless Center Moline, Illinois Minnesota Wild Iowa Wild Bob McNamara
Rapid City Rush Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, South Dakota Independent Independent Joe Ferras
Tulsa Oilers BOK Center Tulsa, Oklahoma Independent Independent Taylor Hall
Wichita Thunder Intrust Bank Arena Wichita, Kansas Independent Independent Joel Lomurno


Teams currently in the CHL.


Brampton Beast Denver Cutthroats Bloomington Blaze (CHL) Quad City Mallards Fort Wayne Komets Evansville IceMen Dayton Gems (2009–2012) Bloomington PrairieThunder Missouri Mavericks Allen Americans Rapid City Rush Rocky Mountain Rage Arizona Sundogs Youngstown SteelHounds Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees Colorado Eagles St. Charles Chill Laredo Bucks San Angelo Outlaws Odessa Jackalopes New Mexico Scorpions Lubbock Cotton Kings Texas Brahmas El Paso Buzzards Corpus Christi IceRays (1997–2010) Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Austin Ice Bats Amarillo Gorillas Border City Bandits Topeka Tarantulas Indianapolis Ice Topeka ScareCrows Fayetteville Force Nashville Nighthawks Macon Whoopee (CHL) Huntsville Channel Cats Columbus Cottonmouths San Antonio Iguanas Wichita Thunder Tulsa Oilers Oklahoma City Blazers Mississippi RiverKings Fort Worth Fire Dallas Freeze


Year Teams Expansion Defunct Suspended Return from Hiatus Relocated Name Changes
1991–92 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 (went to IHL) Nashville Nighthawks → Nashville Ice Flyers
1998–99 11 San Antonio Iguanas
Topeka Scarecrows
Nashville Ice Flyers
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 Icerays (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 (to ECHL)
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
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
Texas Brahmas New Mexico Scorpions Fort Worth Brahmas → Texas Brahmas
2007–08 17 Lubbock Cotton Kings Texas Brahmas Memphis RiverKings → Mississippi RiverKings
2008–09 16 Rapid City Rush Youngstown Steelhounds Austin Ice Bats
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)
Corpus Christi IceRays Amarillo Gorillas
2011–12 14 Bloomington Blaze Bloomington Prairie Thunder
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
Colorado Eagles (to ECHL)
Mississippi RiverKings (to SPHL)
Odessa Jackalopes (to NAHL[4])
2012–13 10 Denver Cutthroats Evansville IceMen (to ECHL)
Fort Wayne Komets (to ECHL)
Dayton Gems
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
Laredo Bucks → St. Charles Chill (to begin play in 2013–14) Texas Brahmas → Fort Worth Brahmas
2013–14 10 Brampton Beast
St. Charles Chill
Bloomington Blaze (to SPHL) Fort Worth Brahmas
2014–15 7 Arizona Sundogs
Denver Cutthroats
St. Charles Chill

League champions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Treliving new Coyotes assistant GM". Azcentral.com. July 19, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  2. ^ "News". centralhockeyleague.com. June 17, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  3. ^ "Denver Elects Dormancy for the 2014-15 Season". centralhockeyleague.com. August 20, 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  4. ^ 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[edit]