Since hockey was introduced to Alberta in the 1890s, teams at all levels have come and gone. While the professional ranks have been confined to the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton, partially due to geographical isolation from the major eastern and pacific coast centres, junior and senior teams have thrived across the province.
Alberta is currently home to two National Hockey League teams, five Western Hockey League teams, the 16 team Alberta Junior Hockey League, as well as five Junior B hockey leagues comprising over 50 teams. The National Women's Hockey League is represented in Alberta, as are teams competing at the senior, university and college ranks.
This list does not include teams below the junior age group, or adult teams below Senior AAA.
- 1 Major Professional
- 2 Minor Professional
- 3 Junior
- 4 Semi-professional, senior and amateur
- 5 League, regional and national championships
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Major Professional[edit | edit source]
National Hockey League[edit | edit source]
|Calgary Flames||Calgary||1980||1||Founded in 1972 as the Atlanta Flames|
|Edmonton Oilers||Edmonton||1979||5||Founded in 1972 as a World Hockey Association franchise|
Western Canada Hockey League[edit | edit source]
The Western Canada Hockey League was the first major-professional league on the prairies. Founded in 1921, it collapsed due to escalating costs in 1926, and was reformed as the Prairie Hockey League from 1926-28.
|Calgary Tigers||Calgary||1921-27||2*||Appeared in 1924 Stanley Cup championship|
|Edmonton Eskimos||Edmonton||1921-27||1||Appeared in 1923 Stanley Cup championship.|
*Includes 1926-27 championship after league was renamed the Prairie Hockey League.
World Hockey Association[edit | edit source]
The World Hockey Association had envisioned that franchises in Calgary and Edmonton would create an effective rivalry. When the Calgary Broncos were unable to start their inaugural season, the Oilers were briefly renamed the Alberta Oilers with the intention of splitting games between the two cities. This plan also failed to materialize.
|Calgary Broncos||Calgary||1972||0||Original WHA franchise, folded before playing first game|
|Calgary Cowboys||Calgary||1975-77||0||Founded in 1972 as the Miami Screaming Eagles|
|Edmonton Oilers||Edmonton||1972-79||0||Known as the Alberta Oilers 1972-73; Joined the National Hockey League in 1979|
Minor Professional[edit | edit source]
American Hockey League[edit | edit source]
The Edmonton Oilers brought their American Hockey League franchise to the Alberta capital during the 2004-05 NHL lockout season. The team was suspended following the resumption of the NHL, and remains suspended.
|Edmonton Road-Runners||Edmonton||2004-05||0||Brought to Edmonton during the 2004-05 NHL lockout.|
Western Hockey League[edit | edit source]
The professional Western Hockey League was formed following a merger with the Pacific Coast Hockey League and the Western Canada Senior Hockey League. Both Alberta franchises lost their amateur status when they joined the new league.
|Team||City||Existed||Lester Patrick Cups||Notes|
Junior[edit | edit source]
Western Hockey League[edit | edit source]
The Major-Junior Western Hockey League was formed in 1966 to strengthen junior hockey in the west. The Calgary Buffaloes were the only expansion team, as the other six founding members defected from existing leagues.
|Team||City||Established||President's Cups||Memorial Cups||Notes|
|Edmonton Oil Kings||Edmonton||2007||0||0|
|Lethbridge Hurricanes||Lethbridge||1987||1||0||Founded in 1967 as the Winnipeg Jets; known as the Calgary Wranglers (1977-87)|
|Medicine Hat Tigers||Medicine Hat||1970||5||2|
|Red Deer Rebels||Red Deer||1992||1||1|
|Team||City||Existed||President's Cups||Memorial Cups||Notes|
|Calgary Centennials||Calgary||1966-77||0||0||Known as the Buffaloes in 1966-67; Became the Billings Bighorns (1977-82), Nanaimo Islanders (1982-83), New Westminster Bruins (1983-88) and Tri-City Americans (1988-present)|
|Calgary Wranglers||Calgary||1977-87||0||0||Founded in 1967 as the Winnipeg Jets; Became Lethbridge Hurricanes in 1987|
|Edmonton Oil Kings||Edmonton||1966-76||2||2*||Founding pre-dates WHL; Became the Portland Winter Hawks in 1976|
|Edmonton Oil Kings||Edmonton||1978-79||0||0||Founded in 1967 as the Flin Flon Bombers; Became Great Falls Americans (1979) and Spokane Flyers (1980-81)|
|Edmonton Ice||Edmonton||1996-98||0||0||Became the Kootenay Ice in 1998|
|Lethbridge Broncos||Lethbridge||1974-86||1||0||Founded in 1967 as the Swift Current Broncos; Returned to Swift Current in 1986|
*The Oil Kings' two Memorial Cups predate the WHL.
Alberta Junior Hockey League[edit | edit source]
The Junior A Alberta Junior Hockey League was founded to improve the level of junior hockey in Alberta, motivated by the dominance of the Edmonton Oil Kings in the early 1960s.
WHA Junior West Hockey League[edit | edit source]
The WHA Junior West Hockey League was founded in 2006 in British Columbia and Washington. It expanded into Alberta in 2007. It is considered a "rebel" league by Hockey Canada. As such its players and officials are not allowed to participate in Hockey Canada sanctioned leagues in the same season as they participate in the WHA. In order to combat this, the WHA has aligned itself with the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League in Ontario in a body called the National Junior Hockey Alliance.
|Team||City||Established||League titles||NJHA Titles||Notes|
|Barrhead River Kings||Barrhead||2007||0||0|
Junior B Hockey Leagues[edit | edit source]
|League||Region||Established||Provincial titles||Keystone Cup titles||Notes|
|Calgary Junior Hockey League||Calgary||1945||4||1||8 teams|
|Capital Junior Hockey League||Edmonton region||1972?||16||1||15 teams|
|Heritage Junior B Hockey League||Southern Alberta||1987||3||1||15 teams - Airdrie Thunder, Okotoks Bisons|
|North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League||Northeast Alberta||Unknown||5||2||9 teams|
|Northwest Junior Hockey League||Grande Peace Region||Unknown||0||0||7 teams (5 in Alberta)|
Junior C Hockey Leagues[edit | edit source]
|Calgary Junior C Hockey League||Calgary||Unknown||N/A|
|Noralta Junior Hockey League||Edmonton region||Unknown||N/A|
Semi-professional, senior and amateur[edit | edit source]
Western Women's Hockey League[edit | edit source]
Both of Alberta's elite women's teams were invited to join the National Women's Hockey League in 2002. In 2004, they broke away to form the Western Women's Hockey League due to the lack of competition in the west. They returned to the NWHL fold in 2006 following a merger between the two leagues. However, due to circumstances arising over scheduling between the WWHL and the NWHL, the merger was never officially consummated. This coupled with the collapse of the NWHL in 2007, left the Oval X-Treme and Chimos as members of the WWHL.
|Team||City||Established||NWHL/ WWHL titles||Notes|
|Calgary Oval X-Treme||Calgary||1995||5||Members of the NWHL 2002-04; 2006-07|
|Edmonton Chimos||Edmonton||1973||0||Members of the NWHL 2002-04; 2006-07|
Senior[edit | edit source]
Several teams from Alberta have gone on to capture the Allan Cup, Canada's national senior championship.
|Calgary Stampeders||Calgary||1938-51||1||Turned professional in 1951 by joining the WPHL|
|Drumheller Miners||Drumheller||1936-39, 1960s||1|||
|Edmonton Flyers||Edmonton||1941-51||1||Turned professional in 1951 by joining the WPHL|
|Edmonton Mercurys||Edmonton||Unknown||--||Won 1950 World Hockey Championship and 1952 Olympic gold medal|
|Lloydminster Border Kings||Lloydminster||unknown-present||1||Member of the Chinook Hockey League|
|Stony Plain Eagles||Stony Plain||1930s-present||1||Member of the Chinook Hockey League||
University[edit | edit source]
College[edit | edit source]
The Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference organizes sport at the colligate level.
League, regional and national championships[edit | edit source]
Teams from Alberta have captured titles at all levels of hockey.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]