The Central Hockey League
The CHL is looking forward to its 21st season that begins in October, 2012.
Last season, the CHL welcomed more than two million fans averaging 4,042 during the regular season and 4,427 during the post-season (both accounting for the highest attendance averages in the past five years in the CHL). Over the past two years, the CHL has celebrated 122 sellouts (the most during any two-year period in the 20-year history of the league) led by the 2011 and 2012 CHL Franchise of the Year winner, the Missouri Mavericks, who have 36 combined regular season sellouts in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
The Wichita Thunder welcomed the largest crowd of the 2011-12 season on February 11 with an attendance of 13,168.
The CHL has had 69 call-ups to the American Hockey League over the past two seasons and just last year, former CHL players Brian Foster (Florida Panthers), Jordie Benn (Dallas Stars) and Ryan Garbutt (Dallas Stars) made 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 currently serving as the Vice-President of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.
Former Wichita Thunder Head Coach Mark French is currently the Head Coach of the AHL's Hershey Bears and helped the team win the 2010 AHL Calder Cup. During that season, French's Bears went 60-17-3 during the regular season (one of the best marks in all of hockey history).
In the broadcast world, former Arizona Sundogs play-by-play man, Robby Incmikoski, currently works for Fox Sports North covering the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves and MLB's Minnesota Twins. Former Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs broadcaster, Steve Mears, works for the Pittsburgh Penguins and previously was 'The Voice' of the New York Islanders.
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 20 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.
Tulsa defenseman Sean Erickson
Central Hockey League Mission Statement
“To reward the interests of Central Hockey League fans and stakeholders through our dedication to continued improvement and excellence, while providing unparalleled service and performance as industry leaders in professional sports.”