Southern Professional Hockey League History

What is Southern Professional Hockey League?

The SPHL – Southern Professional Hockey League, created in 2004, is a professional ice hockey league centered in Huntersville, North Carolina, with teams predominantly in the Southeast and Illinois and Indiana in the Midwest. In the 2002–03 season, the Southern Professional Hockey League was formed from the ashes of three previous short-lived leagues. The SEHL and WHA2 were abolished after one season, with their surviving teams reuniting with two expansion teams to form the SPHL, which began play in the 2004–05 season.

Southern Professional Hockey League Early History

The Southern Professional Hockey League is made up of nine teams: the Fayetteville FireAntz, Huntsville Havoc, Knoxville Ice Bears, Jacksonville Barracudas, Columbus Cottonmouths, Macon Trax, Orlando Seals, and Winston-Salem Polar Twins. The regular season will consist of fifty-six games. Tom Coolen was the inaugural commissioner of the SPHL. The Commissioner’s Cup is given to the Knoxville Ice Bears’ regular-season champions. The Pee Dee Cyclones of Florence, South Carolina, become the SPHL’s first expansion team, while the Orlando Magic relocate to Kissimmee and rebrand as the Florida Seals.

The association is comprised of seven groups. Keith Jeffries is recruited as the association’s subsequent magistrate, and the association’s central command is migrated to Huntsville, Alabama. The Commissioner’s Cup, then again, goes to Knoxville for the second year straight. A club won both the President’s Cup and the Stanley Cup in a similar season interestingly, crushing Florida in four games. The Richmond Renegades have likewise joined the SPHL as a development group, carrying the complete number of groups to eight. After 26 games, the Florida Seals establishment was disbanded on January 5, 2007.

Regular Season History 2007-2008

The normal season title prize has been renamed the William B. Coffey Trophy, which was named after one of the association’s originators. Subsequently, the standard season’s number of games has been decreased from 56 to 52. The Pee Dee Cyclones were renamed the Twin City Cyclones before the season and moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Knoxville Ice Bears have won both the ordinary season and season finisher titles in a similar season for the second time in three years.

The SPHL is celebrating its fifth season. In addition, the number of games in the regular season has been increased from 52 to 60. Therefore, Southern Professional Hockey League has six teams, four of which are original franchises: Columbus, Fayetteville, Huntsville, and Knoxville. Knoxville firstly wins the league’s first back-to-back President’s Cup after defeating Fayetteville. In a thrilling secondly five-game series after winning their fourth regular-season title in five years.

SPHL expansion teams

However, for the 6th season, the Louisiana IceGators, Mississippi Surge, and Pensacola Ice Flyers are the three extension clubs. The season has been abbreviated to 56 games. The SPHL’s office moves to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Doug Price is named Vice President of Hockey Administration. The Augusta RiverHawks joined the SPHL as the association’s first extension group in October.

The Southern Professional Hockey League, on the other hand, will award one direct in the regular season standings to teams that lose in overtime or a shootout. Furthermore, the number of teams competing in the President’s Cup Playoffs has been increased from six to eight. The Southern Professional Hockey League, meanwhile, is starting its eighth season with a few changes. Therefore, Bloomington Thunder and Peoria Rivermen join the league as expansion teams, increasing the league’s reach into the Midwest.

SPHL Championship

The SPHL has partnered with NeuLion, Inc. to firstly broadcast live and on-demand content for all SPHL games across many platforms. Shannon Szabados of Columbus becomes the first female goaltender to win an SPHL game when she defeats Fayetteville on November 21, 2014. As a result, Szabados has two Olympic gold medals with Canada’s women’s hockey team.

In addition, the Cottonmouths’ Girl Scout Night game against Fayetteville was overseen by Erin Blair and Katie Guay, the SPHL’s first female referees. Meanwhile, with an average of 3,248 fans each game, the SPHL establishes a new regular-season attendance record. Meanwhile, the Knoxville Bears won the President’s Cup for the fourth time, defeating Mississippi by a two-game margin in the finals.

The Peoria Rivermen, on the other hand, set many league records in capturing their second Southern Professional Hockey League season championship, including the most points, victories, longest winning streak, and longest road winning streak. The Ice Flyers also won the President’s Cup for the third time in four years, defeating the Rivermen in three games. However, in one of the most spectacular year-to-year turnarounds in professional sports, the Macon Mayhem won both the William B. Coffey Trophy and lastly, the President’s Cup, defeating Peoria two games to none.

SPHL 2022 Season

However, the Southern Professional Hockey League has proposed a new playoff system that will pit all eight playoff teams in a Challenge Round Selection event. In addition, the top three teams in the regular tournament will be able to choose their round. opponent from the Challenge Round clubs ranked fifth through eighth. As a result, the first seed will get to pick their Challenge Round opponent first. The second seed will select their opponent from the remaining three teams, while the third seed will select their opponent from the remaining two teams. The squad with the fourth seed will play the team that was not previously selected.

In January 2019, Andy McElman was named Vice President of Hockey Operations, while Doug Price was named the association’s fourth Commissioner. The Havoc likewise beat the Birmingham Bulls by a score of two to turn out to be just the third group in history to bring home a season finisher title. Accordingly, the Southern United States has been impacted by the worldwide COVID-19 flare-up.

The Southern Professional Hockey League will also be celebrating its 18th season in 2021–22. Large gatherings have been forbidden by state and municipal governments due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, the top five teams in the competition are listed first (Birmingham, Huntsville, Knoxville, Macon, and Pensacola). The league, on the other hand, has formed a new streaming and statistics relationship with HockeyTech. The league welcomed the Vermilion County Bobcats during the season. In the meantime, a brand centered in Danville, Illinois will be expanding in 2021–22.

League Playoff Championship

President’s Cup

The Presidents’ Trophy is allowing by the Southern Professional Hockey League to the gathering that finishes the standard season with the most places during the association. Since its establishment during the 1985-86 season, the Presidents’ Trophy giving on various occasions to seventeen unmistakable clubs. In addition, the association season finisher champion gets this honor.

TeamPlayoff Championship
Pensacola Ice FlyersMacon Mayhem Playoff Championship in 2021
Huntsville HavocBirmingham Bulls Playoff Championship in 2019
Huntsville HavocPeoria Rivermen Playoff Championship in 2018
Macon MayhemPeoria Rivermen Playoff Championship in 2017
Pensacola Ice FlyersPeoria Rivermen Playoff Championship in 2016
Knoxville Ice BearsMississippi RiverKings Playoff Championship in 2016
Team Title Champions

The SPHL World Championships are an annual international men’s ice hockey competition hosted by the World Ice Hockey Federation. Furthermore, it is the sport’s most well-known yearly international tournament.

  • Knoxville Ice Bears with 4 Titles
  • Pensacola Ice Flyers with 4 Titles
  • Huntsville Havoc with 3 Titles
  • Columbus Cottonmouths with 2 Titles
  • Fayetteville FireAntz with 1 Title
  • Macon Mayhem with 1 Title
  • Mississippi Surge with 1 Title
Commissioner’s Cup

The William B. Coffey Trophy given to the Southern Professional Hockey League’s regular-season champion. The Commissioner’s Cup was the name of the award prior to the 2008-09 season. As a result, it was a new name to honor the league’s Director of Hockey Operations.

1 Macon Mayhem – Two Titles in the 2020-21 Season

2 Peoria Rivermen – Four Titles in the 2018-19 Season

3 Peoria Rivermen – Three Titles in the 2017-18 Season

4 Macon Mayhem – One Title in the 2016-17 Season

5 Peoria Rivermen – Two Titles in the 2015-16 Season

Player Awards

  • Awarded President’s Cup – Pensacola Ice Flyers Team
  • Macon Mayhem Team – Awarded William B. Coffey Trophy (A best regular-season record)
  • Kenton Helgesen (Knoxville) Team – Awarded Defenseman of the Year
  • Jake Wahlin (Pensacola) Team – Awarded Rookie of the Year
  • Jake Theut (Macon) Team – Awarded Goaltender of the Year

Southern Professional Hockey League Teams

The Southern Professional Hockey League includes eleven clubs. Therefore, each of which is showing here, along with their venue, city, capacity, joined year, and head coach.

TeamCityArenaCapacityJoinedHead Coach
Vermilion County BobcatsDanville, IllinoisDavid S. Palmer Arena2,3502021Nick Niedert
Roanoke Rail Yard DawgsRoanoke, VirginiaBerglund Center8,6722009Dan Bremner
Quad City StormMoline, IllinoisTaxSlayer Center9,2002009Dave Pszenyczny
Peoria RivermenPeoria, IllinoisCarver Arena9,9192013Jean-Guy Trudel
Pensacola Ice FlyersPensacola, FloridaPensacola Bay Center8,1502009Rod Aldoff
Macon MayhemMacon, GeorgiaMacon Coliseum7,1822010Zac Desjardins
Knoxville Ice BearsKnoxville, TennesseeKnoxville Civic Coliseum
5,9372004Jeff Carr
Huntsville HavocHuntsville, AlabamaVon Braun Center6,0372004Glenn Detulleo
Fayetteville MarksmenFayetteville, North CarolinaCrown Coliseum8,9202004Cory Melkert
Evansville ThunderboltsEvansville, IndianaFord Center9,0002016Jeff Bes
Birmingham BullsPelham, AlabamaPelham Civic Center3,5002017Craig Simchuk

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