Lively Tales About Dead Teams

ECHL (1988-Today)

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 The East Coast Hockey League formed in 1988 with five refugee clubs from the All-American Hockey League and the Atlantic Coast Hockey League, a pair of low-level minor league loops that went out of business after the 1987-88 season.  The original teams were based in Pennsylvania and the Southeastern United States.

In its early years the ECHL operated as a purely independent league.  ECHL teams had no affiliations with NHL clubs and the league was considered to be substantially below the level of play in the two affiliated leagues, the American Hockey League and the International  Hockey League.  The early ECHL brand was a throw back to the Slap Shot era of the 1970’s, with brawling and fighting a prominent selling point.  On the plus side, the independent status of the league meant that fan favorites tended to stay with clubs year after year, which helped several Southeastern clubs to develop passionate followings.

In its second decade, with the International League in decline (it would fold in 2001) the ECHL began to establish NHL affiliations.  The ECHL effectively became the NHL’s “double-A” league and began to expand into larger markets and more modern arenas across the United States.

In 2003, the ECHL accepted seven Western U.S. franchises from the defunct West Coast Hockey League which pushed league membership to an all-time peak of 31 clubs for the 2003-04 season.  With the ECHL now active in Alaska and California, the league’s original name no longer made sense.  As of May 2003, the league is officially known simply as the “ECHL”, but this no longer stands for “East Coast Hockey League”.  However, many fans still colloquially use the old name to this day.

==Franchise List==

Franchise Years Active Home Page Tagged Posts
Alaska Aces 2003-Present Aces Home Tagged Posts
Arkansas RiverBlades 1999-2003 RiverBlades Home Tagged Posts
Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies 2001-2005 Boardwalk Bullies Home Tagged Posts
Augusta Lynx 1998-2008 Lynx Home Tagged Posts
Bakersfield Condors 2003-Present Condors Home Tagged Posts
Baton Rouge Kingfish 1996-2003 Kingfish Home Tagged Posts
Birmingham Bulls 1992-2001 Bulls Home Tagged Posts
Carolina Thunderbirds 1988-1989 Thunderbirds Home Tagged Posts
Charlotte Checkers 1993-2010 Checkers Home Tagged Posts
Chesapeake Icebreakaers 1997-1999 Icebreakers Home Tagged Posts
Chicago Express 2011-2012 Express Home Tagged Posts
Cincinnati Cyclones 1990-1992 Cyclones Home Tagged Posts
Cincinnati Cyclones 2001-2004 & 2006-Present Cyclones Home Tagged Posts
Colorado Eagles 2011-Present Eagles Home Tagged Posts
Columbia Inferno 2001-2008 Inferno Home Tagged Posts
Columbus (OH) Chill 1991-1999 Chill Home Tagged Posts
Columbus (GA) Cottonmouths 2001-2004 Cottonmouths Home Tagged Posts
Dayton Bombers 1991-2009 Bombers Home Tagged Posts
Elmira Jackals 2007-Present Jackals Home Tagged Posts
Erie Panthers 1988-1996 Panthers Home Tagged Posts
Evansville IceMen 2011-Present IceMen Home Tagged Posts
Florence Pride 2003-2004 Pride Home Tagged Posts
Florida Everblades 1998-Present Everblades Home Tagged Posts
Fort Wayne Komets 2012-Present Komets Home Tagged Posts
Fresno Falcons 2003-2008 Falcons Home Tagged Posts
Greensboro Generals 1999-2004 Generals Home Tagged Posts
Greensboro Monarchs 1989-1995 Monarchs Home Tagged Posts
Greenville Grrrowl 1998-2006 Grrrowl Home Tagged Posts
Greenville Road Warriors  2010-Present Road Warriors Home Tagged Posts
Gwinnett Gladiators 2003-Present Gladiators Home Tagged Posts
Hampton Roads Admirals 1989-2000 Admirals Home Tagged Posts
Huntington Blizzard 1993-2000 Blizzard Home Tagged Posts
Huntsville Blast 1993-1994 Blast Home Tagged Posts
Idaho Steelheads 2003-Present Steelheads Home Tagged Posts
Jackson Bandits 1999-2003 Bandits Home Tagged Posts
Jacksonville Lizard Kings 1995-2000 Lizard Kings Home Tagged Posts
Johnstown Chiefs 1988-2010 Chiefs Home Tagged Posts
Kalamazoo Wings 2009-Present Wings Home Tagged Posts
Knoxville Cherokees 1988-1997 Cherokees Home Tagged Posts
Las Vegas Wranglers 2003-Present Wranglers Home Tagged Posts
Lexington Men O' War 2002-2003 Men O' War Home Tagged Posts
Long Beach Ice Dogs 2003-2007 Ice Dogs Home Tagged Posts
Louisiana IceGators 1995-2005 IceGators Home Tagged Posts
Louisville IceHawks 1990-1994 IceHawks Home Tagged Posts
Louisville RiverFrogs 1995-1998 RiverFrogs Home Tagged Posts
Macon Whoopee 2001-2002 Whoopee Home Tagged Posts
Miami Matadors 1998-1999 Matadors Home Tagged Posts
Mississippi Sea Wolves 1996-2005 & 2007-2009 Sea Wolves Home Tagged Posts
Mobile Mysticks 1995-2002 Mysticks Home Tagged Posts
Nashville Knights 1989-1996 Knights Home Tagged Posts
New Orleans Brass 1997-2002 Brass Home Tagged Posts
Ontario Reign 2008-Present Reign Home Tagged Posts
Orlando Solar Bears 2012-Present Solar Bears Home Tagged Posts
Pee Dee Pride 1997-2005 Pride Home Tagged Posts
Pensacola Ice Pilots 1996-2008 Ice Pilots Home Tagged Posts
Peoria Rivermen 1996-2005 Rivermen Home Tagged Posts
Phoenix Roadrunners 2005-2009 Roadrunners Home Tagged Posts
Raleigh IceCaps 1991-1998 IceCaps Home Tagged Posts
Reading Royals 2001-Present Royals Home Tagged Posts
Richmond Renegades 1990-2003 Renegades Home Tagged Posts
Roanoke Express 1993-2004 Express Home Tagged Posts
Roanoke Valley Rampage 1992-1993 Rampage Home Tagged Posts
Roanoke Valley Rebels 1990-1992 Rebels Home Tagged Posts
San Diego Gulls 2003-2006 Gulls Home Tagged Posts
San Francisco Bulls 2012-Present Bulls Home Tagged Posts
South Carolina Stingrays 1993-Present Stingrays Home Tagged Posts
Stockton Thunder 2005-Present Thunder Home Tagged Posts
Tallahassee Tiger Sharks 1994-2001 Tiger Sharks Home Tagged Posts
Texas Wildcatters 2003-2008 Wildcatters Home Tagged Posts
Toledo Storm 1991-2007 Storm Home Tagged Posts
Toledo Walleye 2009-Present Walleye Home Tagged Posts
Trenton Devils 2007-2011 Devils Home Tagged Posts
Trenton Titans 1999-2007 & 2011-Present Titans Home Tagged Posts
Utah Grizzlies 2005-Present Grizzlies Home Tagged Posts
Victoria Salmon Kings 2004-2011 Salmon Kings Home Tagged Posts
Virginia Lancers 1988-1990 Lancers Home Tagged Posts
Wheeling Nailers 1996-Present Nailers Home Tagged Posts
Wheeling Thunderbirds 1992-1996 Thunderbirds Home Tagged Posts
Winston-Salem Thunderbirds 1989-1992 Thunderbirds Home Tagged Posts

 

Written by andycrossley

April 16th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

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