International Hockey League (2007–2010)
International Hockey League logo
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1991
Country(ies) Flag of the United States United States
Ceased 2010
Most championships Fort Wayne Komets & Muskegon Fury (4)
Official website

The International Hockey League was a AA level professional league with teams in the United States. The league was headquartered in Rochester, Michigan prior to the merger, and as of its' last year, consisted of seven teams.


The IHL was originally formed in 1991 as the Colonial Hockey League, intended to fill the Great Lakes region niche abandoned by the original International Hockey League as it went upmarket. It had teams in Brantford, Ontario; Detroit, Michigan; Flint, Michigan; St. Thomas, Ontario; and Thunder Bay, Ontario. As the ECHL moved westward (into Toledo, Dayton, and Peoria), the CoHL moved eastward, into places like the Adirondacks, Danbury, CT, Binghamton, NY, and Richmond, VA. During that expansion, the league was renamed the United Hockey League in 1997, before renaming itself the International Hockey League in 2007.

The name change was intended to evoke the original IHL (1945–2001), which had long-standing franchises in the Great Lakes region. The Fort Wayne Komets were longstanding members of the original league. In addition, the Kalamazoo Wings and Flint Generals revived the names of the original Kalamazoo and Flint IHL teams. Many of the current IHL players have American Hockey League as well as European pro league experience.

On June 27, 2007, a dispersal draft was held among the six IHL teams, selecting players from the four 2006-2007 UHL franchises that were no longer part of the newly named league. Currently, Paul Pickard serves as President and CEO of the IHL; he is also president of Stadium Management Corporation.

On June 1, 2010 the league announced that it would merge into the Central Hockey League.[1]

On July 13, 2010 the Central Hockey League merged with the IHL. The five remaining IHL teams, Bloomington PrairieThunder, Dayton Gems, Evansville IceMen, Fort Wayne Komets and Quad City Mallards franchises officially merged.

Colonial/Turner Cup champions


The IHL's Colonial Cup, used through 2007.

The Turner Cup is awarded to annual playoff championship. The name Turner Cup has been restored as of September 24, 2007 as a tribute to the original IHL. Before this, the trophy given to the league playoff champions was known as the Colonial Cup. The past winners are:


United/International Hockey League expansions
Year Teams Expansion Defunct Suspended Return from Hiatus Relocated Name Changes
1991 5 Brantford Smoke
Flint Bulldogs
Michigan Falcons
Thunder Bay Thunder Hawks
St. Thomas Wildcats
1992 7 Chatham Wheels
Muskegon Fury
Detroit Falcons (Michigan)
Thunder Bay Thunder Cats (Thunder Hawks)
1993 8 Flint Generals Flint → Utica Bulldogs Thunder Bay Senators (Thunder Cats)
1994 8 Chatham → Saginaw Wheels
St. Thomas → London Wildcats
Flint Generals (Bulldogs)
Utica Blizzard (Bulldogs)
1995 9 Quad City Mallards
Madison Monsters
London Wildcats
1996 10 London Wildcats Detroit → Port Huron Border Cats
London → Dayton Ice Bandits
Saginaw Lumber Kings (Wheels)
Thunder Bay Thunder Cats (Senators)
1997 10 B.C. Icemen
Winston-Salem IceHawks
Utica Blizzard Dayton Ice Bandits
1998 11 Dayton Ice Bandits Brantford → Asheville Smoke
Dayton → Mohawk Valley Prowlers
Saginaw Gears (Lumber Kings)
1999 14 Fort Wayne Komets
Madison Kodiaks
Missouri River Otters
Madison → Knoxville Speed
Saginaw → Ohio Gears
Thunder Bay → Rockford Icehogs
Winston-Salem → Adirondack IceHawks
2000 15 Elmira Jackals
New Haven Knights
Mohawk Valley Prowlers (mid-season)
Ohio Gears
Madison → Kalamazoo Wings
2001 14
2002 10 Port Huron Beacons Asheville Smoke
B.C. Icemen
Knoxville Speed
New Haven Knights
Port Huron Border Cats
2003 12 Columbus Stars
Richmond RiverDogs
Columbus Stars (mid-season)
2004 14 Danbury Thrashers
Kansas City Outlaws
Motor City Mechanics
Adirondack Frostbite (IceHawks)
2005 14 Port Huron Flags Kansas City Outlaws Port Huron → Roanoke Valley Vipers
2006 10 Bloomington PrairieThunder Adirondack Frostbite
Danbury Trashers
Missouri River Otters
Motor City Mechanics
Roanoke Valley Vipers
Richmond → Chicago Hounds
2007 6 Port Huron Icehawks Chicago Hounds
Elmira Jackals
Port Huron Flags
Quad City Mallards
Rockford IceHogs
2008 6 Muskegon Lumberjacks (Fury)
2009 6 Dayton Gems Kalamazoo Wings

Former teams

External links

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