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For other leagues with the same name, please see Western Hockey League.

Willie O'Ree scores on Gilles Villemure during the 1965-66 Western Hockey League season.

The Western Hockey League is a now defunct minor professional league in North America that existed from 1952 to 1974. Created out of the merger of the Pacific Coast Hockey League and the Western Canada Senior Hockey League, the WHL epanded much in the 1960s toward the southwestern coast; this expansion and the threat that it posed to the National Hockey League of becoming a rival major hockey league forced the latter league to announce its 1967 NHL Expansion plans.

The league finally had to cease its activities in 1974, after both the NHL and the World Hockey Association had moved into its traditional markets and the resulting diluted talent pool lowered the quality of play and the player availability.


Team Location Arena Tenure Notes
Calgary Stampeders Calgary, Alberta Stampede Corral 1952-1963 folded
Edmonton Flyers Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton Gardens 1952-1963 folded
New Westminster Royals New Westminster, British Columbia Queen's Park Arena 1952-1959 folded
Saskatoon Quakers Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Saskatoon Arena 1952-1956 folded
Seattle Ironmen Seattle, Washington Seattle Civic Ice Arena 1952-1953 renamed Bombers
Tacoma Rockets Tacoma, Washington Tacoma Ice Palace 1952-1953 folded
Vancouver Canucks Vancouver, British Columbia PNE Forum, (1952-1968) Pacific Coliseum (1968-1970) 1952-1970 Join National Hockey League
Victoria Cougars Victoria, British Columbia Victoria Memorial Arena 1952-1961 Moved to Los Angeles
Seattle Bombers Seattle, Washington Seattle Civic Ice Arena 1953-1954 Suspended operations for 1954-55 season
Regina Regals Regina, Saskatchewan Regina Exhibition Stadium 1955-1955 Relocated to Brandon, Manitoba during season
Brandon Regals Brandon, Manitoba Wheat City Arena 1955-1957 Become Saskatoon/St. Paul Regals
Seattle Americans Seattle, Washington Seattle Civic Ice Arena 1955-1957 renamed Totems
Winnipeg Warriors Winnipeg, Manitoba Winnipeg Arena 1955-1961 Moved to San Francisco
Saskatoon/St. Paul Regals Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/St. Paul, Minnesota Saskatoon Arena/St. Paul Auditorium 1957-1958 abandon St. Paul
Saskatoon Quakers Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Saskatoon Arena 1958-1959 folded
Spokane Flyers Spokane, Washington Spokane Coliseum 1958-1960 renamed Spokane Spokes
Portland Buckaroos Portland, Oregon Memorial Coliseum 1960-1974 Joined Western International Hockey League
Spokane Spokes Spokane, Washington Spokane Coliseum 1960-1963 Relocated to Denver
Los Angeles Blades Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena 1961-1967 city gets National Hockey League team
San Francisco Seals San Francisco/Daly City, California Cow Palace 1961-1966 become California Seals when move to Oakland
Denver Invaders Denver, Colorado Denver Coliseum 1963-1964 relocated to Victoria
Victoria Maple Leafs Victoria, British Columbia Victoria Memorial Arena 1964-1967 Moved to Phoenix
Seattle Totems Seattle, Washington Seattle Civic Ice Arena, (1957-1962) Seattle Center Coliseum (1962-1974) 1957-1974 Joined Central Hockey League (1963-1984)
Salt Lake Golden Eagles Salt Lake City, Utah Salt Palace 1969-1974 Joined Central Hockey League (1963-1984)
California Seals Oakland, California Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 1966-1967 Join National Hockey League
San Diego Gulls San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena 1966-1974 Fold when city gets World Hockey Association team
Phoenix Roadrunners Phoenix, Arizona Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum 1967-1974 Joined World Hockey Association
Denver Spurs Denver, Colorado Denver Coliseum 1969-1974 Joined Central Hockey League (1963-1984)


See Also

List of WHL (minor pro) Seasons

Flag of Canada.png North American Minor Professional leagues Flag of the United States.png
American Hockey LeagueAmerican Hockey AssociationCentral Hockey LeagueColonial Hockey LeagueECHLEastern Professional Hockey LeagueInternational Hockey League (1945-2001)International Hockey League (2007-)Pacific Coast Hockey League (1933-1941)Quebec Hockey LeagueSouth East Hockey LeagueSouthern Hockey League (1995-1996)Southern Professional Hockey LeagueSunshine Hockey LeagueTropical Hockey LeagueWest Coast Hockey LeagueWestern Hockey League (minor pro)Edinburgh TrophyEastern Hockey League