Before the start of the 1965–66 WIHL season it was announced that the Cranbrook Royals would be added to the league, with the result being that the WIHL would comprise six teams. The other five teams that made up the 1965-66 version of the WIHL were the Kimberley Dynamiters, Nelson Maple Leafs, Rossland Warriors, Spokane Jets and Trail Smoke Eaters.
The Cranbrook Royals won the Allan Cup as senior ice hockey champions of Canada in 1982. In an era when there were fewer NHL and minor professional teams and leagues, winning the Allan Cup was a difficult task and the national championship trophy was a coveted prize. The WIHL, along with other highly competitive senior leagues across Canada (with member teams located in the USA as well), was considered among the best amateur hockey in North America. Even until the 1980s, the caliber of play was excellent and many former accomplished CHL, junior A, university and pro level players went on to compete for top senior teams like the Cranbrook Royals.
The Cranbrook Royals were a top senior AAA hockey organization and attending a game at the old Memorial Arena was a popular activity for the residents of this vibrant East Kootenay city and surrounding area for 25 years.
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