United Hockey League

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"International Hockey League (2007–2010)" redirects here. For other uses, see International Hockey League (disambiguation).
"UHL" redirects here. For other uses, see Uhl (disambiguation).
United Hockey League
United Hockey League.svg
Logo of the UHL from 1997-2006
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1991
Countries  United States
 Canada
Ceased 2010
Last champion(s) Fort Wayne Komets
Most titles Fort Wayne Komets & Muskegon Fury (4)

The United Hockey League (UHL) was a low-level professional ice hockey league, with teams in the United States and Canada.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The league was headquartered in Rochester, Michigan, and in its last year, consisted of seven teams.[8] It folded in 2010, with most of its teams joining the Central Hockey League.

History[edit]

The UHL was originally formed in 1991 as the Colonial Hockey League and had teams in Brantford, Ontario; Detroit, Michigan; Flint, Michigan; St. Thomas, Ontario; and Thunder Bay, Ontario; the avowed goal of the league organizers was to fill the low-level niche in the Great Lakes area abandoned by the original International Hockey League as the latter league engaged in upmarket expansion. As time passed, the CoHL moved eastward, into places like the Adirondacks, Danbury, CT, Binghamton, NY, and Richmond, VA. During that expansion, the league was renamed United Hockey League in 1997, before changing names again to the International Hockey League in 2007.

The UHL's final name change was intended to evoke the original International Hockey League, which had ceased operations in 2001. The Fort Wayne Komets were a longstanding member of the original league. In addition, the new Kalamazoo Wings and Flint Generals franchises revived the names of the original Kalamazoo and Flint IHL teams.

On July 13, 2010, the league announced an agreement with the Central Hockey League, the effects of which saw five IHL teams - the Bloomington PrairieThunder, Dayton Gems, Evansville IceMen, Fort Wayne Komets and Quad City Mallards - absorbed into the CHL. The remaining two franchises from the league's last season that were not absorbed into the CHL, the Generals and the Icehawks, folded. The only original UHL franchise that played in the CHL was the Evansville IceMen and Fort Wayne Komets, (Icemen originally known as the Muskegon Lumberjacks)

Governance[edit]

UHL's IHL logo from 2007 until 2010

Dennis Hextall was named as the president and commissioner of the International Hockey League on September 2, 2009.[9] Hextall was preceded by Paul Pickard, who served as commissioner for the first two years of the renamed league (2007–2009).

Several UHL teams had affiliations with the National Hockey League, American Hockey League, and the All American Hockey League.

Colonial/Turner Cup champions[edit]

The Colonial Cup was the league's championship trophy. The name was changed to the Turner Cup in 2007 to reflect the original IHL's championship trophy, also named the Turner Cup.

Teams[edit]

Expansion[edit]

Year Teams Expansion Defunct Suspended Return from hiatus Relocated Name changes
1990–91 5 Brantford Smoke
Flint Bulldogs
Michigan Falcons
Thunder Bay Thunder Hawks
St. Thomas Wildcats
1991–92 7 Chatham Wheels
Muskegon Fury
Detroit Falcons (Michigan)
Thunder Bay Thunder Cats (Thunder Hawks)
1992–93 8 Flint Generals Flint → Utica Bulldogs Thunder Bay Senators (Thunder Cats)
1993–94 8 Chatham → Saginaw Wheels
St. Thomas → London Wildcats
Utica Blizzard (Bulldogs)
1994–95 9 Quad City Mallards
Madison Monsters
London Wildcats
1995–96 10 London Wildcats Detroit → Port Huron Border Cats
London → Dayton Ice Bandits
Saginaw Lumber Kings (Wheels)
Thunder Bay Thunder Cats (Senators)
1996–97 10 B.C. Icemen
Winston-Salem IceHawks
Utica Blizzard Dayton Ice Bandits
1997–98 11 Dayton Ice Bandits Brantford → Asheville Smoke
Dayton → Mohawk Valley Prowlers
Saginaw Gears (Lumber Kings)
1998–99 14 Fort Wayne Komets
Madison Kodiaks
Missouri River Otters
Madison → Knoxville Speed
Saginaw → Ohio Gears
Thunder Bay → Rockford Icehogs
Winston-Salem → Adirondack IceHawks
1999–2000 15 New Haven Knights Mohawk Valley Prowlers (mid-season)
Ohio Gears
Madison → Kalamazoo Wings
2000–01 14 Elmira Jackals
2001–02 10 Port Huron Beacons Asheville Smoke
B.C. Icemen
Knoxville Speed
New Haven Knights
Port Huron Border Cats
2002–03 12 Columbus Stars
Richmond RiverDogs
Columbus Stars (mid-season)
2004–04 14 Danbury Trashers
Kansas City Outlaws
Motor City Mechanics
Adirondack Frostbite (IceHawks)
2004–05 14 Port Huron Flags Kansas City Outlaws Port Huron → Roanoke Valley Vipers
2005–06 10 Bloomington PrairieThunder Adirondack Frostbite
Danbury Trashers
Missouri River Otters
Motor City Mechanics
Roanoke Valley Vipers
Richmond → Chicago Hounds
2006–07 6 Port Huron Icehawks Chicago Hounds
Elmira Jackals (moved to ECHL)
Port Huron Flags
Quad City Mallards
Rockford IceHogs (moved to AHL)
2007–08 6 Muskegon Lumberjacks (Fury)
2008–09 7 Dayton Gems
Quad City Mallards
Kalamazoo Wings (moved to ECHL)
2009–10 5 Port Huron Icehawks
Flint Generals[10]
Muskegon Lumberjacks → Evansville IceMen

Timeline[edit]

Quad City Mallards Dayton Gems (2009–) Port Huron Icehawks Bloomington PrairieThunder Port Huron Flags (UHL) Motor City Mechanics Kansas City Outlaws Danbury Trashers Chicago Hounds Richmond RiverDogs Columbus Stars Roanoke Valley Vipers Port Huron Beacons New Haven Knights Elmira Jackals Missouri River Otters Kalamazoo Wings Madison Kodiaks Fort Wayne Komets Adirondack Frostbite Winston-Salem IceHawks B.C. Icemen Knoxville Speed Madison Monsters Quad City Mallards (1995-2007) Flint Generals Muskegon Lumberjacks (1992–2010) Ohio Gears Saginaw Gears (UHL) Chatham Wheels Mohawk Valley Prowlers Dayton Ice Bandits London Wildcats St. Thomas Wildcats Rockford IceHogs (UHL) Thunder Bay Thunder Cats Port Huron Border Cats Detroit Falcons (CoHL) Utica Blizzard Flint Bulldogs Asheville Smoke Asheville Smoke

History of teams[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Investors have an interest in the UHL," Portland Press Herald, May 28, 2000
  2. ^ Report: AHL hockey team moving from Omaha to the Quad-Cities / QCTimes.com
  3. ^ "Lockout's true victims cry out," Sunaya Sapurji, Toronto Star, November 17, 2004
  4. ^ Mallards call conference / QCTimes.com
  5. ^ Chicago News, Events and Culture | Chi-Town Daily News | Put theUHL on a dead pool list
  6. ^ Gauntlet Sports - The improbable and fantastic journey of Drayton Valley's Eric Schneider
  7. ^ "IBL team has to play it just right," Krista Latham, Detroit Free Press, February 3, 2005
  8. ^ Official Website of the IHL
  9. ^ "IHL Honored to Announce Hextall as New Leader" - IHL-Hockey.com
  10. ^ a b Flint, Port Huron bow out of IHL | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN
  11. ^ Jackals moved to ECHL - http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/mpublic.cgi?action=show_news&cat=1&id=10749[dead link]
  12. ^ Wings moved to ECHL - http://www.echl.com/cgi-bin/mpublic.cgi?action=show_news2&id=19007[dead link]
  13. ^ Had assets bought out by Rockford IceHogs of American Hockey League - http://www.theahl.com/news/league/index.html?article_id=7559[dead link]

External links[edit]