|Current season or competition:
2012–13 CHL season
Central Hockey League logo
|No. of teams||11|
|Most recent champion(s)||Allen Americans|
|Most titles||(tie) Wichita Thunder, Oklahoma City Blazers, Memphis RiverKings, Laredo Bucks, & Colorado Eagles (2)|
The Central Hockey League (CHL) is one of only two mid-level (AA) professional hockey leagues, owned by Global Entertainment Corporation. The other is the ECHL. Its current champions are the Allen Americans, which defeated the Wichita Thunder four games to three in the 2013 playoffs.
The current Central Hockey League was created in 1992 as a centrally owned league, owned by Ray Miron and Bill Levins. The league was operated by Ray and Monte Miron and funded by Chicago businessman and minor league sports entrepreneur Horn Chen.
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. The Thunder and the Oilers are the last of the league's original teams 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. Of the ten WPHL teams that joined the CHL, only the Fort Worth Brahmas – operating in a traditional CHL market – still survive.
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.
Teams compete annually for the Ray Miron President's Cup.
|Team||Arena||City/area||Affiliate team(s)||President and/or General Manager|
|Allen Americans||Allen Event Center||Allen, Texas||Dallas Stars, Texas Stars||Matt Cannovan|
|Arizona Sundogs||Tim's Toyota Center||Prescott Valley, Arizona||Phoenix Coyotes, Portland Pirates||Chris Presson|
|Brampton Beast||Powerade Centre||Brampton, Ontario||TBD||Cary Kaplan|
|Denver Cutthroats||Denver Coliseum||Denver, Colorado||Colorado Avalanche, Lake Erie Monsters||Ben Rifkin|
|Fort Worth Brahmas||NYTEX Sports Centre||North Richland Hills, Texas||None||Mike Atkinson|
|Missouri Mavericks||Independence Events Center||Independence, Missouri||Chicago Wolves||Brent Theissen|
|Quad City Mallards||i wireless Center||Moline, Illinois||None||Bob McNamara|
|Rapid City Rush||Rushmore Plaza Civic Center||Rapid City, South Dakota||None||Tim Hill|
|St. Charles Chill||Family Arena||St. Charles, Missouri||TBD||Nicole Kupaks|
|Tulsa Oilers||BOK Center||Tulsa, Oklahoma||None||Taylor Hall|
|Wichita Thunder||Intrust Bank Arena||Wichita, Kansas||None||Joel Lomurno|
- Amarillo Gorillas (WPHL 1996–2001, CHL 2001–2010; team known as Amarillo Rattlers 1996–2002)
- Austin Ice Bats (1996–2008, began play in WPHL before moving to CHL in 2001)
- Border City Bandits (Texarkana, TX; 2000–01 season only, suspended by league on 2/20/01)
- Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (Bossier City–Shreveport, Louisiana; WPHL 1997–2001, CHL 2001–2011; folded on June 10, 2011)
- Bloomington PrairieThunder (Bloomington, IL; 2006–2007 UHL, 2007–2010 IHL, 2010–2011 CHL. team failed to contact U.S Cellular coliseum for an Extended lease. in result, a new hockey franchise named the Bloomington Blaze replaced them. officially ceased operation on July 3, 2011)
- Bloomington Blaze (Bloomington, IL; 2011-2013 CHL, moved to SPHL)
- Colorado Eagles (Loveland, CO; 2003–2011, moved to ECHL)
- Columbus Cottonmouths (Columbus, GA; 1996–2001, moved to ECHL from 2001–04 and SPHL from 2004)
- Corpus Christi IceRays (2001–2010, replaced by NAHL franchise of same name)
- Dallas Freeze (1992–1995)
- Dayton Gems (Dayton, OH; 2009–2010 IHL, 2010–2012 CHL)
- El Paso Buzzards (WPHL 1996–2001, CHL 2001–2003)
- Evansville IceMen (Evansville, IN; 2010–2012, moved to ECHL)
- Fayetteville Force (1997–2001)
- Fort Wayne Komets (Fort Wayne, IN; 1952–1999 IHL, 1999–2007 UHL, 2007–2010 IHL, 2010–2012 CHL, moved to ECHL)
- Fort Worth Fire (1992–1999)
- Huntsville Channel Cats (began in Southern Hockey League 1995–96, moved to CHL from 1996–1999, changed name to Huntsville Tornado in 1999–2000)
- Indianapolis Ice (began play in IHL from 1988–1999, moved to CHL from 1999–2004. Franchise was sold and moved to Topeka, Kansas where they played as the Topeka Tarantulas for 2004–05)
- Laredo Bucks (2002–2012, franchise sold and moved to St. Charles, Missouri, will begin play as St. Charles Chill in 2013–14)
- Lubbock Cotton Kings (1999–2007)
- Macon Whoopee (1996–2001, moved to ECHL for 2001–02)
- Mississippi RiverKings (1992–2011, known as Memphis RiverKings from 1992–2007, moved to SPHL for 2011–12.)
- Nashville Nighthawks (1996–97, changed name to Nashville Ice Flyers for 1997–98. The Ice Flyers looked into the possibility of relocating to Albany, Georgia, after the 1997–98 season following the announcement that the Nashville Predators were joining the NHL for the 1998–99 season. For whatever reason that relocation never occurred)
- New Mexico Scorpions (Rio Rancho, NM; WPHL 1996–2001, CHL 2001–2009)
- Odessa Jackalopes (1997–2010, replaced by NAHL franchise of the same name. Another source says the same team switched leagues)
- Oklahoma City Blazers (1992–2009, folded on July 2, 2009)
- Rocky Mountain Rage (Broomfield, CO; 2006–2009)
- Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (Hidalgo, TX; 2003–2012) due to declining Attendance and community support, the Killer Bees will not play in the CHL after the 2011–2012 season. A team from the NAHL will replace them.
- San Antonio Iguanas (1994–1997, 1998–2002)
- San Angelo Outlaws (WPHL 1997–2001, CHL 2001–02, changed name to San Angelo Saints from 2002–2005)
- Topeka ScareCrows (1998–2001)
- Youngstown SteelHounds (2005–2008, CHL suddenly announced they would no longer be playing in that league, team looked to join IHL or ECHL, but the market was replaced by the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League.)
|Year||Teams||Expansion||Defunct||Suspended||Return from Hiatus||Relocated||Name Changes|
Fort Worth Fire
Oklahoma City Blazers
|1994–95||7||San Antonio Iguanas|
Huntsville Channel Cats
|1997–98||10||Fayetteville Force||San Antonio Iguanas (went to IHL)||Nashville Nighthawks → Nashville Ice Flyers|
|1998–99||11||San Antonio Iguanas
|Nashville Ice Flyers|
|1999–00||11||Indianapolis Ice||Fort Worth Fire|
|2000–01||12||Border City Bandits||Border City Bandits (defunct mid-season)||Huntsville Channel Cats → Huntsville Tornado|
|2001–02||16||Amarillo Rattlers (from WPHL)
Austin Ice Bats (from WPHL)
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (from WPHL)
Corpus Christi Icerays (from WPHL)
El Paso Buzzards (from WPHL)
Fort Worth Brahmas (from WPHL)
Lubbock Cotton Kings (from WPHL)
New Mexico Scorpions (from WPHL)
Odessa Jackalopes (from WPHL)
San Angelo Outlaws (from WPHL)
|Columbus Cottonmouths (to ECHL)
Macon Whoopie (to ECHL)
|2002–03||16||Laredo Bucks||San Antonio Iguanas||Amarillo Rattlers → Amarillo Gorillas
San Angelo Outlaws → San Angelo Saints
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
|El Paso Buzzards|
|2004–05||17||Indianapolis Ice → Topeka Tarantulas|
|2005–06||15||Youngstown SteelHounds||San Angelo Saints
|New Mexico Scorpions|
Rocky Mountain Rage
|Texas Brahmas||New Mexico Scorpions||Fort Worth Brahmas → Texas Brahmas|
|2007–08||17||Lubbock Cotton Kings||Texas Brahmas||Memphis RiverKings → Mississippi RiverKings|
|2008–09||16||Rapid City Rush||Youngstown Steelhounds||Austin Ice Bats|
|New Mexico Scorpions
Oklahoma City Blazers
Rocky Mountain Rage
|2010–11||18||Bloomington PrairieThunder (from IHL)
Dayton Gems (from IHL)
Evansville IceMen (from IHL)
Fort Wayne Komets (from IHL)
Quad City Mallards (from IHL)
|Corpus Christi IceRays||Amarillo Gorillas|
|2011–12||14||Bloomington Blaze||Bloomington Prairie Thunder
Colorado Eagles (to ECHL)
Mississippi RiverKings (to SPHL)
Odessa Jackalopes (to NAHL)
|2012–13||10||Denver Cutthroats||Evansville IceMen (to ECHL)
Fort Wayne Komets (to ECHL)
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
|Laredo Bucks → St. Charles Chill (to begin play in 2013–14)||Texas Brahmas → Fort Worth Brahmas|
League champions 
- 1993 – Tulsa Oilers
- 1994 – Wichita Thunder
- 1995 – Wichita Thunder
- 1996 – Oklahoma City Blazers
- 1997 – Fort Worth Fire
- 1998 – Columbus Cottonmouths
- 1999 – Huntsville Channel Cats
- 2000 – Indianapolis Ice
- 2001 – Oklahoma City Blazers
- 2002 – Memphis RiverKings
- 2003 – Memphis RiverKings
- 2004 – Laredo Bucks
- 2005 – Colorado Eagles
- 2006 – Laredo Bucks
- 2007 – Colorado Eagles
- 2008 – Arizona Sundogs
- 2009 – Texas Brahmas
- 2010 – Rapid City Rush
- 2011 – Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
- 2012 – Fort Wayne Komets
- 2013 – Allen Americans
See also 
- "Treliving new Coyotes assistant GM". Azcentral.com. July 19, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- "News". centralhockeyleague.com. June 17, 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- "CHL and IHL Make Major Announcement". Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- Scheide, Lee (March 23, 2011). "Central Hockey League: Jacks make move to North American Hockey League official". Odessa American. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- Stott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. pp. 16–201. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
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