ECHL

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ECHL

The ECHL is a professional hockey minor league based in the United States and Canada, generally regarded as being a tier below the American Hockey League.

The league, which combined teams from the defunct Atlantic Coast Hockey League and All-American Hockey League, began play as the East Coast Hockey League in 1988 with 5 teams, the Carolina Thunderbirds (now the Wheeling Nailers), the Erie Panthers (now the Victoria Salmon Kings), the Johnstown Chiefs, the Knoxville Cherokees (now the Pee Dee Pride), and the Virginia Lancers (the team is currently defunct, last playing as the Lexington Men O' War in 2003).

Since that time, the League has met with great success, reaching its largest size in 2003 of 31 teams before being reduced to 28 teams for the 2004 season. In September 2002, with the collapse of the West Coast Hockey League, the ECHL Board of Governors approved membership applications from the Anchorage (now Alaska) Aces, the Bakersfield Condors, the Fresno Falcons, the Idaho Steelheads, the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Long Beach Ice Dogs and the San Diego Gulls as well as from teams in Ontario, California and Reno, Nevada. Alaska, Bakersfield, Fresno, Idaho, Las Vegas, Long Beach and San Diego began play in 2003-04 as expansion teams in the league. The teams from the defunct WCHL, along with Las Vegas, joined as expansion teams for the ECHLís 16th season in 2003-04. In a change reflective of the nationwide presence of the ECHL, the East Coast Hockey League changed its name to simply ECHL on May 19, 2003.

Contents

Future Expansion Teams

Teams

(NHL affiliates in parentheses)

National Conference

North Division

West Division

American Conference

East Division

South Division

Defunct Teams

Like any minor league, the ECHL has its share of defunct teams. Teams that no longer play within the ECHL are listed below. All of the teams, except for the Greensboro Generals and the Roanoke Express, which were terminated by the ECHL, and the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies, which were relocated to Stockton, California, are considered to have suspended operations and the franchises placed for sale.

See also

External links

Template:ECHLde:East Coast Hockey League

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