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.^ top
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.^ top
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.^ top
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.^ top
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.^ top
The Southern Professional Hockey League - SPHL
|Southern Professional Hockey League|
A new league formed for the 2004-05 season.^ top
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.^ top
The Federal Hockey League
|Federal Hockey League (Canada)|
A new league starting up in the winter of 2004? Status unknown at this time.^ top
National Women's Hockey League (NWHL)
|National Womens Hockey League|
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|