Timeline of Early Hockey Leagues
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PHL: 1927-1928 (2 seasons)
Created from the five remaining teams of the WCHL following its demise in 1926.
WCHL: 1922-1926 (5 seasons)
Centered in smaller cities, WCHL teams eventually resorted to selling players to their richer NHL rivals to stay afloat.
PCHA: 1912-1924 (13 seasons)
Oriented in western Canada and the western U.S., eventually merged with the Western Canada Hockey League (WHL)
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.
NHA: 1910-1917 (8 seasons)
NHA suspended operations in order to oust unwanted owner . Remaining league owners then started today's NHL.
MaPHL: 1911-1915 (5 seasons)
Operating in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, also known as Interprovincial Hockey League and Eastern Professional Hockey League
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.
OPHL: 1908-1911 (4 seasons)
Sometimes referred to as the Trolley League, rose in popularity followning collapse of the IHL.
TPHL: 1906-1911 (6 seasons)
Minor professional league that dissolved when Ambrose O'Brien, owner of two of its teams, formed the National Hockey Association.
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.
MPHL: 1892-1909 (18 seasons)
Started as Mabitoba Hockey Association (MHA), an elite amateur league in 1892, turning professional as the WPHL in 1905.
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.
IHL: 1905-1907 (3 seasons)
The first fully professional league, instrumental in changing the nature of ice hockey from amateur to professional.
CAHL: 1899-1905 (7 seasons)
Early men's amateur hockey league, with a growing focus on revenues. Replaced the organization that was AHAC.
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.
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.
MWCT: 1883-1889 (7 seasons)
Considered to be the first ice hockey tournaments and the predecessor to the first championship ice hockey league.