The Western Hockey League was a minor league that operated from 1952 to 1974. The WHL traces its origins back to the Southern California Hockey League (1942-1944) and the Northwest International Hockey League (1943-44), which merged to form the amateur Pacific Coast Hockey League in 1944. The PCHL was initially an amateur league but became fully professional in 1948.
The PCHL gained a foothold in British Columbia as well and in 1952 changed its name to the Western Hockey League to better reflect it’s geographic reach. The Western League operated for 22 seasons, sometimes with as few as five active clubs and never with more than nine. Starting in the late 1960’s, the WHL began losing markets such as Los Angeles, Vancouver and the Bay Area to NHL expansion. In 1972, the big-budget World Hockey Association formed to challenge the NHL and began to drain away player talent and additional markets. The league called it a day when the NHL awarded provisional expansion franchises to two of its six remaining member cities (Denver and Seattle) in the spring of 1974. Ironically, neither of these planned NHL expansion clubs came to pass.
During the 1965-66 and 1967-68 season, the Western League played inter-league games against clubs from the East Coast-based American Hockey League. After the Western League folded in 1974, the Seattle Totems and Salt Lake Golden Eagles joined the minor Central Hockey League. The Denver Spurs and Phoenix Roadrunners upgraded to the World Hockey Association.
|Franchise||Years Active||Home Paged||Tagged Posts|
|Brandon/Regina Regals||1955-1957||Regals Home||Tagged Posts|
|Calgary Stampeders||1952-1963||Stampeders Home||Tagged Posts|
|California Seals||1966-1967||Seals Home||Tagged Posts|
|Denver Invaders||1963-1964||Invaders Home||Tagged Posts|
|Denver Spurs||1968-1974||Spurs Home||Tagged Posts|
|Edmonton Flyers||1952-1963||Flyers Home||Tagged Posts|
|Los Angeles Blades||1961-1967||Blades Home||Tagged Posts|
|New Westminster Royals||1952-1959||Royals Home||Tagged Posts|
|Phoenix Roadrunners||1967-1974||Roadrunners Home||Tagged Posts|
|Portland Buckaroos||1960-1974||Buckaroos Home||Tagged Posts|
|Salt Lake Golden Eagles||1969-1974||Golden Eagles Home||Tagged Posts|
|San Diego Gulls||1966-1974||Gulls Home||Tagged Posts|
|San Francisco Seals||1961-1966||Seals Home||Tagged Posts|
|Saskatoon Quakers||1952-1957 & 1958-1959||Quakers Home||Tagged Posts|
|Saskatoon Regals*||1957-1958||Regals Home||Tagged Posts|
|Seattle Americans||1955-1958||Americans Home||Tagged Posts|
|Seattle Bombers||1952-1954||Bombers Home||Tagged Posts|
|Seattle Totems||1958-1974||Totems Home||Tagged Posts|
|Spokane Comets||1960-1963||Comets Home||Tagged Posts|
|Spokane Spokes||1958-1960||Spokes Home||Tagged Posts|
|St. Paul Saints*||1957-1958||Saints Home||Tagged Posts|
|Tacoma Rockets||1952-1953||Rockets Home||Tagged Posts|
|Vancouver Canucks||1952-1970||Canucks Home||Tagged Posts|
|Victoria Cougars||1952-1961||Cougars Home||Tagged Posts|
|Victoria Maple Leafs||1964-1967||Maple Leafs Home||Tagged Posts|
|Winnipeg Warriors||1955-1961||Warriors Home||Tagged Posts|
*The 1957-58 Saskatoon Regals/St. Paul Saints are the same team. They split time between the two cities, with a different name in each market. The experiment ended after a single season and the club settled in Saskatoon for the 1958-1959 season as the Saskatoon Quakers.