Although every hockey fan knows about the NHL, many might not know that during the organization’s inception the nation to which the National Hockey League referred was Canada, and to this day ice hockey is our national sport and a favorite past time. Canada still produces some of the world’s finest hockey players, but on a global stage our nation no longer controls the reigns.
Many of today’s top Canadian players develop in the Canadian Hockey League, which is an umbrella organization that represents the three major junior ice hockey leagues in Canada.
The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) was founded in 1975 as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, and consists of three member leagues, the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Though the leagues are governed by the same rules, differences in terms of style of play can be identified between the leagues. The CHL is the governing body for Major Junior Hockey, and each league plays individual regular season schedules as well as playoffs. In May the annual CHL championship consists of a host team greeting the three league champions for a round-robin tournament to determine a national champion and winner of the Memorial Cup. The CHL also hosts the CHL Top Prospects Game and the Subway Super Series.
The CHL is regarded as one of the top junior hockey leagues when it comes to professional development, and it continuously supplies many top North American pro hockey teams with great players.
Stay tuned for more from Mark Rivkin on the Canadian Hockey League.