World Ice Hockey

World Ice Hockey includes leagues, such as the National Hockey League (NHL North America), Canadian Hockey League (WHL Western, OHL Ontario, QMJHL Quebec) and American Hockey League (AHL United States of America primarily) and Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL United Kingdom) which play under the NHL’s rules and the Rest of the World’s leagues which play under the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) rules.

Within Ireland and Britain, the Charlestown rink in Dublin and the SSE Arena, home of the Belfast Giants of the EIHL, are both NHL-sized rinks with the EIHL playing by NHL rules. The Dundonald and Dundalk rinks in Ireland and the Irish, British, Scottish and English Leagues all play under the IIHF’s rules on IIHF also known as Olympic-sized rinks. The Charlestown and Dundalk rinks in the Republic of Ireland are both unfortunately closed at present.

Elite Ice Hockey League

The Elite Ice Hockey League is a United Kingdom-wide league featuring teams in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Part of that system includes the British, Scottish, English and English Regional Leagues and Cups. Irish Ice Hockey teams have also travelled to Britain to play friendly games versus British teams.

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As well as playing in the Elite Ice Hockey League (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), the Belfast Giants can compete in the Champions Hockey League (European Champions League)

Elite Ice Hockey Leagues

Elite Ice Hockey League; Ice Hockey Superleague

A+ Elite Ice Hockey League (Britain & Ireland) (Overviews)

Elite Ice Hockey League 2010-2018

Elite Ice Hockey League 2003-2010

Ice Hockey Superleague 2000-03

A+ Elite Ice Hockey League (Seasons): 

 2019-20 2018-19 2017-18 2016-17 2015-16

A+ Ice Hockey Superleague (Seasons):

2000-01

English National Ice Hockey League (Levels 3 & 4 in Britain)(Overviews):

English National Ice Hockey League | Division 2 North 2008-2012

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Apart from competing in the Elite Leagues (Belfast Giants) and in the Scottish Leagues (Castlereagh teams), competitive Irish Ice Hockey teams have also played Friendly games versus British opposition.

International Ice Hockey (Irish v British Clubs)

Irish v British Ice Hockey Teams

Irish Ice Hockey Teams versus British Teams

European Ice Hockey

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), a replacement for the old Soviet Supreme League, is the biggest league outside of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the winners of both have played on three occasions for the Victoria Cup, an unofficial World Club Championship.

Also in European Ice Hockey is the Champions Hockey League (CHL) system, comprising Western European countries, with the best teams from the National Leagues competing in the CHL annually.

people playing ice hockey on ice rink
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As well as playing in the Elite Ice Hockey League (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), the Belfast Giants can compete in the Champions Hockey League (European Champions League)

Champions Hockey League

Champions Hockey League; Elite Ice Hockey League; Ice Hockey Superleague

European Champions Ice Hockey Leagues

Champions Hockey League (Belfast Giants)(Seasons):

2019-20

European Inter-State Ice Hockey Leagues

Atlantic League (FRA-DEN-NED) (Seasons):

1995-96

Balkan Ice Hockey Leagues (ROM-BUL-SER-CRO-SLO)

International Hockey League 2018-2020

Romanian Ice Hockey League (Seasons):

1995-96

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The Kontinental Hockey League replaced the old USSR Supreme League, and is primarily based in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which replaced the USSR. It has played for the Victoria Cup between the winners of the NHL and KHL on three occasions.

Kontinental Hockey League

Kontinental Hockey League

Kontinental Hockey League (Seasons): 2019-20

North American Ice Hockey

The National Hockey League (NHL), based in Canada and USA, comprises a 32-team Major Professional Ice Hockey League that vies for the Kontinental Hockey League (Russia, China, Central Asia and Eastern Europe) to be the best in the World.

Below the NHL is the American Hockey League, (AAA in North American naming system) and the ECHL (AA in the North American system) which replaced the International Hockey League which once was a AAA league alongside the AHL.

The Canadian Hockey League is the other Major Junior Hockey League in North America, and is actually three leagues in one: Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) which are Major Junior Hockey Leagues. The

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The National Hockey League was founded in Canada in 1917, and now hasteams throughout Canada & USA. The World Hockey Association was a Major League rival to the NHL in the 1970s and merged with the NHL in 1979.

National Hockey League System

NHL; WHA

(Major League) National Hockey League (USA & Canada) (Seasons): 2018-19

NHL Division alignments:  2020-21

(Major League) World Hockey Association (USA & Canada) (Overview):

World Hockey Association 1972-1979

Irish Major League Ice Hockey Directors:

Terry Kelly “Superfan” Irish Major League Ice Hockey Director 1991-2015

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The American Hockey League system is aligned with the National Hockey League (NHL) and features AAA League the American Hockey League; AA League the ECHL; and A Leagues the Southern Professional Hockey League and the Federal League.

American Hockey Leagues

AHL; ECHL: SPHL

(AAA) American Hockey League (Pre-Seasons): 2020-21

ECHL (AA American Ice Hockey) 2009-2015

(AA) ECHL (Pre-seasons): 2020

(A) Southern Professional Hockey League (Seasons):2019-20

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Ice Hockey is the official State Sport of Minnesota.