Technically it was a minor league, but for hockey fans west of the Mississippi, the Western Hockey League provided major-league entertainment for over 25 years.
Known as the Pacific Coast Hockey League prior to the W.H.L., the league aspired to establish itself as North America’s second major league of hockey, a western counter-part to the Eastern-oriented N.H.L. But it never quite managed to make the jump to the majors.
In its time, though there were some 22 teams based in major American and Canadian cities.
In this Journey into Hockey, Jon C. Stott, Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta and a hockey historian, speaks with us about his book, Ice Warriors – The Pacific Coast/Western Hockey League – 1948-1974 (Heritage House, 2008).
The book provides a play-by-play of the Western Hocket League, its start, how it came to rival the N.H.L, and what led to its disbanding in 1974. By interviewing former players, coaches, and fans, and examining statistical records, Stott captures the W.H.L.’s glory days and pays tribute to a time when hockey was played with heart.