The Central Hockey League
The CHL was founded 50 years ago (1963) under the leadership of NHL Hall of Famer Jack Adams and has welcomed hockey greats such as Bud Poile, Mark Messier, Glen Sather, Tiger Williams, Phil Esposito, Al MacInnis and more into weaving the fabric of the history of the League.
Over the past four years, the CHL has celebrated 177 sellouts (the most during any four-year period in the 22-year history of the league) led by the 2011, 2012 and 2013 CHL Franchise of the Year winner, the Missouri Mavericks, who have 71 combined regular season sellouts in the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
The CHL has had 154 call-ups to the American Hockey League over the past four seasons with former CHL players such as Brian Foster (Florida Panthers), Jordie Benn (Dallas Stars) and Ryan Garbutt (Dallas Stars) all making their National Hockey League debuts joining the likes of David Schlemko (Phoenix Coyotes), Keith Aucoin (Washington Capitals), Andrew Desjardins (San Jose Sharks), Joel Martin (New York Islanders) and many others as former CHL players that made it to the NHL.
The league has also developed non-hockey personnel for higher leagues with former CHL President Brad Treliving recently being named the General Manager of the NHL's Calgary Flames.
There are currently six former CHL full-time officials under NHL contracts: David Brisebois, Gord Dwyer, John Grandt, Mark Lemelin, Frederik L'Ecuyer and Jon McIssac.
Arguably the most significant change over the past 23 years came in May of 2001, as the Central and Western Professional Hockey Leagues joined forces at a press conference in Oklahoma that combined the top markets within both organizations under the CHL banner.
Recently, another historic development has positioned the League for growth and prosperity. This move was a change in League ownership as the owners of the member teams joined shoulder-to-shoulder to purchase the CHL making it an owner-owned operation. In June of 2013, Central Partners, LLC purchased the League from Western Professional Hockey League Inc. and under the leadership of the team owners subsequently positioned Steve Ryan as the leader of the CHL.
Central Hockey League Position Statement
"Founded as a professional league in 1963 by the National Hockey League, the Central Hockey League delivers outstanding family entertainment and in-arena excitement. We offer a close-up view of our game and we are very proud of our players and clubs connection with fans both in arena and in the community."