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- League status: Not active
- Administered by: Global Entertainment Corporation
- Head manager: Duane Lewis
- Year of start: 1992
- WWW: http://www.centralhockeyleague.com/
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|17 Dec 2014 |||Bobby Preece (D)||Rapid City Rush||Florida Everblades|
|04 Dec 2014 |||Jarkko Leppänen (D)||Wichita Thunder||SHK 37 Piestany|
|24 Oct 2014 |||Ian Schultz (F)||Arizona Sundogs||Allen Americans|
|18 Oct 2014 |||David Pszenyczny (D)||Kansas City Mavericks||Tulsa Oilers|
The CHL is divided into two Conferences, Turner and Berry. Teams compete annually for the Ray Miron President's Cup.
- 2013-2014: Allen Americans
- 2012-2013: Allen Americans
- 2011-2012: Fort Wayne Komets
- 2010-2011: Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
- 2009-2010: Rapid City Rush
- 2008-2009: Texas Brahmas
- 2007-2008: Arizona Sundogs
- 2006-2007: Colorado Eagles
- 2005-2006: Laredo Bucks
- 2004-2005: Colorado Eagles
- 2003-2004: Laredo Bucks
- 2002-2003: Memphis River Kings
- 2001-2002: Memphis River Kings
- 2000-2001: Oklahoma City Blazers
- 1999-2000: Indianapolis Ice
- 1998-1999: Huntsville Channel Cats
- 1997-1998: Columbus Cottonmouths
- 1996-1997: Fort Worth Fire
- 1995-1996: Oklahoma City Blazers
- 1994-1995: Wichita Thunder
- 1993-1994: Wichita Thunder
- 1992-1993: Tulsa Oilers
The Central Hockey League (CHL) was revived in 1992 by Bill Levins and Ray Miron under 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 New Jersey Devils 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. With the move of the RiverKings to the SPHL, the Thunder and the Oilers are the last of the league's original teams still 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 several experiments in expansion and a long battle for players and markets with the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), the CHL merged with the WPHL in 2001.
The CHL commissioner is currently Duane Lewis, who 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. Lewis was named the permanent commissioner in June 2008.
On June 1, 2010 the league announced that it would merge with the International Hockey League. Originally touted as a "merger," the effect was for the IHL's Bloomington, Dayton, Fort Wayne and Quad City franchises to join the CHL; the IHL quietly folded thereafter.
After two teams ceased operations after the 2014-15 season, the remaining seven were accepted as members of the ECHL and the CHL ceased to exist.
- CHL clubs join ECHL for 2014-15 season (08 Oct 2014)
Arizona Sundogs and Denver Cutthroats suspend operations
In few hours the Central Hockey League announced that the Denver Cutthroats and the arizona sundogs have suspended operations, effective immediately, and will not compete in the 2014-15 season. Both teams will look to secure additional investors with the hope of returning for the 2015-16 campaign. With the latter defections, following that of St. Charles Chill announced in June, the CHL remains with seven teams, the smallest number since the league's re-birth in 1992.(21 Aug 2014)
Bloomington, Peoria join SPHL for 2013-2014 Season
The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) announced its Board of Governors has unanimously approved the Bloomington Blaze and Peoria Rivermen to join the league for the 2013-2014 season.
"We are excited to welcome Bloomington and Peoria into the league," added SPHL President Jim Combs. "The addition of two teams in the Midwest opens up a new range of opportunities for the SPHL."
The Rivermen were purchased at the end of March by the Vancouver Canucks, who intend to move the franchise to Abbotsford, B.C. and last week confirmed with Peoria Civic Center officials that they will not bring back the Rivermen franchise.(17 May 2013)
CHL will have a new team in Brampton, Ontario
The Central Hockey League announced that all the necessary paperwork and documentation with the new franchise in Brampton, Ontario, the City of Brampton and the Powerade Centre have been finalized. All parties entered into a Letter of Intent in late January. The new franchise will compete in the 2013-14 season and will be the first League franchise in Canada.(08 Mar 2013)
Colorado Avalanche sign affiliation with Cutthroats
The CHL expansion team Denver Cutthroats announced they have entered into an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche.(19 Jul 2012)
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees cease operations
The Central Hockey League announced that the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees have notified the league that they will not operate during the 2012-13 season.
"The economics of playing in the Valley are no longer financially viable. With the loss of Laredo for this coming season and losses of close rivals such as Corpus Christi and Austin in recent years have created a larger financial burden than the team can bear" said Killer Bees President Trey Medlock.
The Killer Bees joined the Central Hockey League in 2003
Fort Wayne Komets join the ECHL, Dayton Gems ceased
Current CHL champion Fort Wayne Komets announced that the franchise has withdrawn from the Central Hockey League and has been admitted as a member of the ECHL. The Fort Wayne membership will take flight with the 2012-13 ECHL season.
The Dayton Gems announced they were ceasing operations and that a new team playing in Federal Hockey League will be estabilished in Dayton.
Along with the move of Evansville from CHL to ECHL, these changes reflect the end of two-year agreement between the CHL and the defunct International Hockey League (IHL). Among the former IHL teams Bloomington Blaze and Quad City Mallards have signed long-term CHL agreements, while Dayton, Evansville and Fort Wayne are no longer affiliated with the CHL.
Evansville IceMen join the ECHL
The ECHL announced that the Board of Governors has approved the Expansion Membership application of the Evansville IceMen for admission to the ECHL.The IceMen will become a member club of the Eastern Conference/North Division which will be comprised of the Cincinnati Cyclones, Kalamazoo Wings and Toledo Walleye. Under a special two-year agreement, the Evansville IceMen, as an IHL entity, operated their franchise in the Central Hockey League in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 CHL seasons.(17 May 2012)
New Denver franchise is named Cutthroats(17 May 2012)
Laredo Bucks suspend operations
The Central Hockey League (CHL) announced today that the Laredo Bucks have notified the league that they will not operate during the 2012-13 season. The Bucks ownership will maintain their license agreement in the league.
"The decision to cease operations was extremely difficult for the ownership group," stated one of the owners, Glenn Hart. "This is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. We made every effort to avoid this outcome, but in our current position we thought this was the proper decision"
"It is a sad day for fans of the CHL and specifically Bucks fans," said Duane Lewis, CHL Commissioner. "There is tremendous history for the Bucks and for the last decade, they helped the sports world take notice of South Texas hockey. We sincerely appreciate all of their efforts over the last 10 seasons, and we will miss seeing hockey in Laredo next season."(01 May 2012)
Arizona Sundogs fire long-time coach Marco Pietroniro
The Arizona Sundogs announced today that head coach Marco Pietroniro and assistant Chris Bartolone have been fired. Pietroniro was in his sixth season with the Sundogs, the only coach in franchise history. He won the Ray Miron President's Cup Championship in 2007-08.
"Marco Pietroniro has provided the Sundogs organization with a lot of wonderful memories, and those memories will never be forgotten," said General Manager Chris Presson. "The Sundogs would like to thank him for his effort and contributions in his six years here, and wish him nothing but the best in the future."
The new coach is David Lohrei.(27 Feb 2012)