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Professional Hockey Leagues

Professional Hockey Leagues - The Minors

When you think of professional hockey, the first thought is the NHL. However hockey also exists at another level for the professional players. These are the leagues we cover here, including women's hockey leagues. At this time it is a confusing mix of leagues especially in the southern states markets with teams and leagues moving around.

Although there has been some merging and movement of teams over the past couple of years, a large base of teams and leagues still exist. Many of these teams are associated with a team in the NHL and are often referred to as the "farm" system. Professional hockey in North America is organized into three different skill levels. The top level is the National Hockey League, whose teams play in the top media markets in the United States and Canada.At the AAA level is the American (AHL). The AHL is based the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada and serves as the primary developmental league for the NHL. The IHL, ceased operations in June 2001. It's page has been left for reference only.

At the AA level are now different leagues: the East Coast (ECHL), United Hockey League (UHL) and the Central Hockey League (CHL). The Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), merged with the CHL for the 2001-02 season, and the WCHL is now under the ECHL.

For 2003-04 new leagues appeared, namely the WHA2 (defunct 2004), SEHL and the Federal Hockey League (Canada). For 2004-05 with a NHL lockout happening new leagues are forming including the SPHL and the NAHL. We have included these in the list for now allthough all do not seem to be operating at this time.

For more information on the leagues follow the links below.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - The AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL)

American Hockey League Calder Cup Champions

The AHL is based the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada and serves as the primary developmental league for the NHL. Clicks on the links above for more information.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - The CHL

The Central Hockey League (CHL)

Central Hockey League President's Cup Winners (Miron Cup)

The Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), merged with the CHL for the 2001-02 season.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - The ECHL

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)

East Coast Hockey League Kelly Cup Winners

The East Coast Hockey League has positioned itself as one of the premier AA leagues with most of its teams having affiliations with either NHL or AAA leagues.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - The UHL

The United Hockey League (UHL)

United Hockey League Colonial Cup Winners

The UHL was created in 1991 as the Colonial Hockey League changing its name in 1997. The UHL has continued it's marketing strategy, with nine of fifteen teams in markets previously occupied by other AAA and AA leagues.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - The SPHL

The Southern Professional Hockey League - SPHL

Southern Professional Hockey League  

A new league formed for the 2004-05 season.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - The SEHL

The South East Hockey League (SEHL)


South East Hockey League
 

Taking over some of the teams from the short lived ACHL, it is another effort at keeping the league together. Unknown status for 2004-05.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - The Federal Hockey League

The Federal Hockey League

Federal Hockey League (Canada)  

A new league starting up in the winter of 2004? Status unknown at this time.

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Professional Hockey Leagues - National Women's Hockey League

National Women's Hockey League (NWHL)

National Womens Hockey League  

 

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Previous Professional Hockey Leagues

Previous Professional Hockey Leagues - Reference Pages

Leagues come and go and hockey is no exception to that. Below are some of the previous professional hockey leagues that have folded in the past. This information is left for refernce only and many include past championship information.

International Hockey League Turner Cup Winners
West Coast Hockey League Taylor Cup Winners
Western Professional Hockey League President's Cup Winners
Atlantic Coast Hockey League  
WHA2