Ice Hockey Wiki

The Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) was a minor professional ice hockey league which operated primarily in Ontario and Quebec from 1959 to 1963.

It had its roots in the Quebec Hockey League which was down to three teams in 1959, The Quebec Aces transferred to the American Hockey League (AHL) but the AHL turned down the Montreal Royals because they did not want a team in a National Hockey League (NHL) city.

The Montreal Canadiens, the Royals' parent team, then starting putting together a new league. They had the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens from their junior team (Ottawa-Hull Canadiens). The other NHL teams (except for the Toronto Maple Leafs) were brought in to form the first minor pro league completely owned by the NHL. The NHL had established working relationships with teams in leagues such as the AHL and WHL, but these leagues were not fully under the control of the NHL.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were never fully involved because they felt that the league infringed on their territory.

The Boston Bruins brought in the Kingston Frontenacs. The New York Rangers agreed to sponsor the Trois Rivieres Lions, The Sault Ste. Marie Thunderbirds were owned by the Chicago Blackhawks. The Detroit Red Wings came in with the Sudbury Wolves.

Teams from Sudbury, Kingston, and Sault Ste. Marie had participated in the 1958-59 OHA Senior Season.

The league was a success on the ice but never did well financially. Most of the cities were too small to support professional hockey. The arenas were old, small, and sub-standard. Junior hockey and NHL hockey on television were strong competitors for the fans' dollars.

During its final season the league. down to four teams, played an interlocking schedule with the International Hockey League.

Following the demise of the EPHL, the NHL created the new Central Hockey League of minor-pro farm teams in larger, midwestern U.S. cities. The EPHL teams were basically transferred to this new league.


Team name City Arena Years Comments
Hull-Ottawa Canadiens Ottawa, Ontario & Hull, Quebec Ottawa Auditorium & Hull Arena 1959-1963 farm affiliation becomes Omaha Knights
Kingston Frontenacs Kingston, Ontario Kingston Memorial Centre 1959-1963 farm affiliation becomes Minneapolis Bruins
Montreal Royals Montreal, Quebec Montreal Forum 1959-1961 folded (Montreal Canadiens has two teams in league)
Sault Ste. Marie Thunderbirds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sault Memorial Gardens 1959-1962 relocated to Syracuse renamed Syracuse Braves
Sudbury Wolves Sudbury, Ontario Sudbury Community Arena 1959-1963 farm affiliation becomes Indianapolis Capitals
Trois Rivieres Lions Trois Rivieres, Quebec Colisée de Trois-Rivières 1959-1960 relocated to Kitchener; renamed Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen
Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen Kitchener-Waterloo Kitchener Memorial Auditorium 1960-1961 renamed Kitchener-Waterloo Beavers
Kitchener-Waterloo Beavers Kitchener-Waterloo Kitchener Memorial Auditorium 1961-1962 folded
North Bay Trappers North Bay, Ontario North Bay Memorial Gardens 1961-1962 folded
Syracuse Braves Syracuse, New York Onondaga County War Memorial 1962-1963 relocated to St. Louis January 1, 1963 renamed St. Louis Braves
St. Louis Braves St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Arena 1963-1963 join Central Professional Hockey League

Regular Season Champions

Playoff Champions

List of Seasons

Award Winners

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