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The North Central Hockey League was established in 1995 in the province of Alberta. The league was registered at the Senior A level with Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta.

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According to the league's website; the league was established in the spring of 1995 out of a few exhibition games and two 8-hour meetings.

The founders of the league were George Vanberg (President for most of the next 20 years), Noel Perrin (Edson Ice), Kirk Holtet (Fox Creek Bandits), Grant Drewniak (Slave Lake Winterhawks), Diane Dickson (Whitecourt Cats), and Darren Myshak (Swan Hills Knights). The league kicked off it's 1995-1996 inaugural season with the above noted teams as well as the Athabasca Aces, Hinton Heat and Mayerthorpe Hitmen, playing a 26 game season.

The league has had three Presidents since inception:

George Vanberg 1995-2006 and 2009 to 2015

Ken McCarthy 2007 - 2008 (Vice President 2006)

Jerry Muise 2016 to present (Vice President 2010-2015)

In 2015, Hockey Alberta designated the league as Senior AA,

The league has fluctuated between 4 (2000-01) and 12 (2015-2016) teams. The League's championship trophy was named the Vanberg Cup, a tribute to it's long standing President and league founder, George Vanberg. During the 2013-14 season President Vanberg and Vice-President Jerry Muise also started to manage the Senior AAA level Chinook Hockey League (Allan Cup Hockey West). After Vanberg stepped down in 2015, Muise continued to manage both leagues until he resigned as President of the ACHW in the fall of 2018.

The league began the 2014-15 season with seven teams (Devon Barons, Edson Ice, Morinville Kings, Rocky Rams  , Slave Lake Winterhawks, Westlock Warriors and Whitecourt Wild). The league has the Athbasca Aces and the

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Drayton Valley Wildcats taking a leave from league for the season. The league had planned on adding a new team from St. Albert, Alberta. However the team had to delay starting in the league due to being unable to secure ice in time to commit for the 2014-15 season. The league website stated that the team has been able to secure ice and will commence play in the 2015-16 season. the league will play a 63 game slate (18 games per team) that will run from mid-October to mid-January followed by playoffs.

The league expanded to 12 teams (a new league high) for the 2015-16 season as the league absorbed many of the members of the Battle River Senior Hockey League (Big Valley Oil Kings, Bonnyville Pontiacs, Daysland Northstars, and Tofield Satellites)  The Drayton Valley Wildcats returned from a one year hiatus and the seven existing members all returned from 2014-15.  The previously delayed St. Albert team appears to have folded.  The league will have two six team divisions for the 2015-16 season.

For 2016-17 the Big Valley Oil Kings relocated to Eckville, Alberta and were renamed the Eckville Eagles.  The Drayton Valley Wildcats and Tofield Satellites also do not return.

To begin the 2017-2018 season, three teams decided to take a one year leave of absence. League charter teams, Edson Ice and Slave Lake Winterhawks, as well as the Rocky Rams did not ice teams this season, leaving the league with seven teams to compete. It is of note that both Edson and Slave Lake have competed in the NCHL for 21 seasons prior to this season, the longest tenure of any teams. It is also of note, that 4 of the original teams have played in the league for the longest periods of time - Edson and Slave Lake 21 years, Hinton 17, Fox Creek 14. The seven teams currently in the league have an average of 3 years.

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At the League's annual meeting May 5, 2018, the Red Deer Rustlers and Sylvan Lake Pirates were added, while Edson Ice, Rocky Mountain House Rams and Slave Lake Winterhawks will not return after taking a one year leave of absence. This year will mark the league's 25th anniversary. The league also updated it's logo, replacing the original which had been in use since the league's inception.

The league accepted the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs into the fold for the 2019-2020 season. Ft Saskatchewan had been a member of the Allan Cup Hockey West league (Chinook Hockey League) until they ceased operations in 2018-2019. In July, the Whitecourt Wild announced that they would be suspending operations due to a lack of players. Whitecourt had been part of the NCHL since they joined the league in 2013. Prior to that, the Whitecourt Cats were a charter member of the league from 1994-2005. In August, the Sylvan Lake Pirates announced that they would be renaming as the Blackfalds Sr Wranglers, but will be playing half (4) of their home games in Bentley, half (4) in Blackfalds, moving full time to the Blackfalds Multiplex in 2020-2021. The Eckville Eagles also announced that they were moving their home games to Lacombe starting this season. In November, Hockey Alberta granted the name change to the Lacombe AA Generals.  In March 2020, Hockey Canada-Alberta suspended all play due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Vanberg Cup finals series between Daysland Northstars and Red Deer Rustlers was suspended with Daysland holding a 2-0 series lead.

For the first time since the 2007-08 season, there will be no changes in teams for the 2020-21 season. In August, the league announced that it would be delaying the opening of the 20/21 season until at least December 4th due to the ongoing regulations surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak. On October 14th, the league announced that they would be cancelling the 2020-21 season in it's entirety, looking to resume operations in the fall of 2021.

On June 30, 2021 the league approved the re-location and re-branding of the Daysland Northstars to Camrose as the Senior Vikings, beginning play in the 2021-22 hockey season. In July, the team announced that they were changing their name to Camrose Crush due to trademark issues with the Viking's brand.

Current Teams 2021-22[]

Team Centre Arena
Blackfalds Wranglers Blackfalds Blackfalds Multiplex
Bonnyville Pontiacs Bonnyville R.J.Lalonde Arena
Camrose Crush Camrose Max McLean Arena
Devon Barons Devon Dale Fisher Arena
Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs Fort Saskatchewan Jubilee Recreation Centre
Lacombe Generals Lacombe Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex
Morinville Kings Morinville Morinville Leisure Centre
Red Deer Rustlers Red Deer Penhold Multiplex
Westlock Warriors Westlock Rotary Sprint Centre

League Seasons[]

Time line of teams[]

Charter Teams[]

Sequential addition of teams[]

NCHL Champions[]

  • 1995-96 - Hinton Heat defeated Slave Lake WInterhawks
  • 1996-97 - Slave Lake Winterhawks defeated Edson Ice
  • 1997-98 - Drayton Valley Wildcats defeated Slave Lake WInterhawks
  • 1998-99 - Drayton Valley Wildcats defeated Slave Lake Winterhawks
  • 1999-00 - Grande Cache Rockies defeated Slave Lake Winterhawks
  • 2000-01 - Hinton Heat defeated Slave Lake Winterhawks
  • 2001-02 - Slave Lake Winterhawks defeated Hinton Heat
  • 2002-03 - Slave Lake Winterhawks defeated Hinton Heat
  • 2003-04 - Slave Lake Winterhawks defeated Jasper Wolves
  • 2004-05 - Slave Lake Winterhawks defeated Drayton Valley Wildcats
  • 2005-06 - Slave Lake Winterhawks defeated Drayton Valley Wildcats
  • 2006-07 - Lamont Bruins defeated Onoway Ice Dogs
  • 2007-08-  Lamont Bruins defeated Onoway Ice Dogs
  • 2008-09 - Onoway Ice Dogs defeated Legal Vipers
  • 2009-10 - Onoway Ice Dogs defeated Drayton Valley Wildcats
  • 2010-11 - Drayton Valley Wildcats defeated Slave Lake Winterhawks
  • 2011-12 - Drayton Valley Wildcats defeated Slave Lake Winterhawks
  • 2012-13 - Devon Barons defeated Edson Ice
  • 2013-14 - Devon Barons defeated Slave Lake Winterhawks
  • 2014-15 - Westlock Warriors defeated Devon Barons
  • 2015-16 - Daysland Northstars defeated Bonnyville Pontiacs
  • 2016-17 - Daysland Northstars defeated Bonnyville Pontiacs
  • 2017-18 - Daysland Northstars defeated Eckville Eagles
  • 2018-19 - Morinville Kings defeated Daysland Northstars
  • 2019-20 - No champion - Season suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic - Daysland were leading Red Deer 2-0 in finals.
  • 2020-21 - No champion - Season cancelled due to Covid-19.

Canadian Senior Hockey (post-1971)
National/Regional Championships
Allan Cup (National AAA)
Patton Cup (Western Canada 71-91) - Bolton Cup (Eastern Canada 71-03)
McKenzie Cup (BC-AB) - Rathgaber Cup (SK-MB) - Atlantic Cup (2003-) (NB-NL-NS-PEI)
Provincial/Local Championships
Alberta - British Columbia - Manitoba - Newfoundland and Labrador - Northern Ontario - Ontario Hockey Association - Ottawa - Quebec (Also Eastern

Region Allan Cup Qualifier) - Saskatchewan - Thunder Bay/Gary Cook Cup

Current Leagues
Alberta: East Central Senior Hockey League (2012-) - North Central Hockey League (1995-) - North Peace Hockey League (also in BC, 1953-) - Ranchland Senior Hockey League (1974-) - Sask/Alta Senior Hockey League (also in SK, 1964-)

British Columbia: Central Interior Senior Hockey League (1997-) - North Peace Hockey League (also in Alberta, 1953-)

Manitoba: Carillon Senior Hockey League (2004-) - North Central Hockey League (1958-) - South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League (1952-) - Tiger Hills Hockey League (1983-)

New Brunswick: Beausejour Senior Hockey League (2019-) - Circuit de Hockey Senior Roger-Lizotte (1991-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Acadie-Chaleur (2016-)

Newfoundland and Labrador: - Central Newfoundland Hockey League (Intermediate) (2009-) - Central/West Senior Hockey League (2014-) - East Coast Senior Hockey League (2017-) - Newfoundland West Coast Senior Hockey League (2001-11; 2016-)

Ontario: Allan Cup Hockey (1991-) - ACH Senior AA G-League (2021-) - Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (2019-) WOAA Senior AA Hockey League (1942-) - Western Ontario Super Hockey League (2021-)

Quebec: Laval Senior A Hockey League (2013-) - Ligue de Hockey Cote-Sud (2012-) - Ligue Regionale de Hockey (2016-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior du Lac-au-Fleuve (2017-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior du Richelieu (2005-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AAA du Quebec (2017-) - Outaouais Senior A Hockey League (2018-)

Saskatchewan: Big Six Senior Hockey League (1959-) - Highway Hockey League (1965-) - Long Lake Senior Hockey League (1978-) - Notekeu Senior Hockey League (1958-) - Qu'Appelle Valley Hockey League (1960-) - Sask/Alta Senior Hockey League (also in Alberta, 1964-) - Saskatchewan Prairie Senior Hockey League (2010-) - Sask East Hockey League (2020-) - Sask West Senior Hockey League (2000-) - Sask Valley Hockey League (1965-) - Saskatchewan Treaty Hockey League (2021-) - Twin Rivers Senior Hockey League (2016-) - Wheatland Senior Hockey League (2004-) - White Mud Senior Hockey League (1995-)

Nunavut: Iqaluit Senior Hockey League (2009-) - Rankin Inlet Senior Men's Hockey League (2008-)

Defunct Leagues
Alberta: Allan Cup Hockey West/Chinook Hockey League (1969-2020) -Battle River Hockey League (2002-2015) - Prairie Senior Hockey League (also in SK, 1971-1972)

British Columbia: British Columbia Senior Hockey League (1979-1981) - Western International Hockey League (1946-1988) - West Coast Senior AA Hockey League (2016-2018)

Manitoba: Canadian Central Hockey League (1972-1974) - Central Amateur Senior Hockey League (1975-1989) - Eastman Hockey League (1998-2000) - Hanover Tache Hockey League (1958-2005) - Manitoba Aboriginal Senior Hockey League - Manitoba Assiniboine Hockey League (1974-1983) - Manitoba Eastern Hockey League (1969-1977) - Manitoba Senior Hockey League (2008-2016) - North Interlake Hockey League (1987-1988) - Nor-West Hockey League (1996-1997) - North West Senior Hockey League (2017-) - South Interlake Hockey League (1987-2008) - SouthWest Hockey League (1956-2009) - Winnipeg Senior A Hockey League (mid-1990's)

Maritimes: Maritime Senior Hockey League (1991-1992) - Northumberland Dairy Senior AAA Hockey League (1995-1998)

New Brunswick: Miramichi Senior Hockey League (2000-2004) - Eastern Senior Hockey League (2001-2010) - New Brunswick Chaleur Hockey League (1991-1995) - New Brunswick Senior Hockey League (1968-1991) - North East Senior Hockey League (2011-2018) - North Shore Senior Hockey League (1939-1978) - North Shore Senior Hockey League (1996-2010) - Southern New Brunswick Senior Hockey League (1962-2010)

Newfoundland and Labrador: Avalon East Senior Hockey League (1992-2017) Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (2011-2014)

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Senior Hockey League (1982-1996)

Ontario: Eastern Ontario Senior Hockey League (2003-2008) - HNO Senior League (2009-2012) - North Oxford Men's Hockey League (1959-2012) - OHA Senior A Hockey League (1972-1987) - Ottawa District Senior Hockey League (1968-1978) - Ontario Senior AA Hockey League (1983-1988)

Quebec: Ligue Centrale de Hockey (LCH) (1978-2008) - Ligue de Hockey Beauce Bellechase Frontenac (1999-2017) - Ligue de Hockey Senior de la Mauricie (1992-1996) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Majeur du Quebec (1979-82; 1994-96) - Ligue de Hockey Senior de l'Est du Quebec (2005-2010) - Ligue de hockey Senior des Îles de la Madeleine (1991-2005) - Ligue de Hockey Senior A de la Mauricie (2001-2017) - Ligue de Hockey Senior A Inter-Rives (2006-2007) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA de l'Estrie (2001-2004) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA de la Cote-Nord (2007-2009) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean (2002-2003) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Bas-Saint-Laurent (1994-2005) - Ligue de Hockey Senior des Cantons-de-L'Est (2011-2015) - Ligue de hockey les Cotiers de la Gaspesie (2002-2008) - Ligue de Hockey Senior des Deux Rives (2002-2003) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Provinciale AA (2004-2006) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA L.D.B. du Quebec (1979-2000) - Ligue de hockey Budweiser de 'est du Quebec (2011-2013) - Outaouais Hockey League (1973-1975) - Promutuel Senior Hockey League (1999-2007) - Republican Hockey League (also in NB, 1976-1987) - Quebec Senior North-East Hockey League (2003-2007)

Prince Edward Island: Island Community Senior Hockey League (2010-2013) - Prince Edward Island Senior Hockey League (1990-1991) - Prince Edward Island Senior Hockey League (2010-2011)

Saskatchewan: Beaver Lakes Hockey League (2006-2018) - Fishing Lake Hockey League (1953-2015) - Fort Carlton Senior Hockey League (1971-2019) - Last Mountain Hockey League (1954-1978) - North Saskatchewan River Hockey League (1995-2015) - Pasquia Hockey League (1993-2009) - Three Rivers Hockey League (1980's) - Treaty Six Hockey League (2004-2007) - Triangle Hockey League (1965-2020) - Whiska Creek Hockey League (1980's-90's) - Wild Goose Hockey League (1954-2008) - Yellowhead Hockey League (1980-2000)