Timeline of Early Hockey Leagues
F i l t e r   &   S o r t 
Leading the PHL was president Walter E. Seaborn of Moose Jaw
PHL: 1927-1928 (2 seasons)
Created from the five remaining teams of the WCHL following its demise in 1926.
The WHCL was organized under the presidency of E. L. Richardson of Calgary
WCHL: 1922-1926 (5 seasons)
Centered in smaller cities, WCHL teams eventually resorted to selling players to their richer NHL rivals to stay afloat.
Brothers Frank and Lester Patrick decided to build new rinks in Vancouver and Victoria to be the centerpoint of a new league.
PCHA: 1912-1924 (13 seasons)
Oriented in western Canada and the western U.S., eventually merged with the Western Canada Hockey League (WHL)
Logo for National Hockey League
NHL: 1918-2020 (103 seasons)
Founded to replace the NHA. Expanded into the U.S. in 1924 to emerge as the sole North American hockey league.
Logo for National Hockey Association
NHA: 1910-1917 (8 seasons)
NHA suspended operations in order to oust unwanted owner . Remaining league owners then started today's NHL.
Maritime Professional Hockey League (MaPHL) operating in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
MaPHL: 1911-1915 (5 seasons)
Operating in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, also known as Interprovincial Hockey League and Eastern Professional Hockey League
Emmett Quinn, League secretary of the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA)
CHA: 1910-1910 (1 season)
Three teams from ECHA formed the new CHA, which only lasted a few weeks, as two of the teams quickly moved to NHA.
Logo for Ontario Professional Hockey League
OPHL: 1908-1911 (4 seasons)
Sometimes referred to as the Trolley League, rose in popularity followning collapse of the IHL.
William Northey, co-founder of the Eastern Canada Hockey Association (ECHA)
ECHA: 1906-1909 (4 seasons)
Formed after when the Montreal Wanderers of the FHL and Ottawa of the CAHL joined together and then absorbed the defunct leagues.
Jack Armytage, president of 10-time champ  Winnipeg in the Manitoba Professional Hockey League (MPHL)
MPHL: 1892-1909 (18 seasons)
Started as Mabitoba Hockey Association (MHA), an elite amateur league in 1892, turning professional as the WPHL in 1905.
William Foran, founded the Federal Hockey League
FHL: 1904-1909 (6 seasons)
Formed to provide a league for teams not accepted by the rival CAHL, but dissolved with the formation of the NHA.
Jack 'Doc' Gibson, founded the International Professional Hockey League (IHL)
IHL: 1905-1907 (3 seasons)
The first fully professional league, instrumental in changing the nature of ice hockey from amateur to professional.
Albert Edward Swift, Vice President of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL)
CAHL: 1899-1905 (7 seasons)
Early men's amateur hockey league, with a growing focus on revenues. Replaced the organization that was AHAC.
Arthur Sixsmith, founded creation of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League (WPHL)
WPHL: 1897-1909 (13 seasons)
The pre-eminent ice hockey league in the U.S., it was the first organization to openly hire and trade players.
Mr. Thomas D. Green, President of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC)
AHAC: 1887-1898 (12 seasons)
Organized to provide a longer season to determine the Canadian champion, the first winner of the newly introduced Stanley Cup.
1884 Montreal Winter Carnival Tournament program
Considered to be the first ice hockey tournaments and the predecessor to the first championship ice hockey league.
Subscribe to our Sports History Newsletter

1 Comment