Western Canada Senior Hockey League

The Western Canada Senior Hockey League was a senior ice hockey league that played six seasons in Alberta and Saskatchewan, from 1945 to 1951. The league produced the 1946 Allan Cup and the 1948 Allan Cup champions, and merged into the Pacific Coast Hockey League for the 1951–52 season.

HistoryEdit

In April 1945, W. G. Hardy sought to organize a senior hockey league including teams from Alberta and Saskatchewan.[1] The result was the Western Canada Senior Hockey League (WCSHL) which began in the 1945–46 season, with Hardy as a league governor. The first season had teams in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon and Regina. A fifth team was added in Lethbridge in the 1946–47 season.[2]

The league produced the 1946 Allan Cup champion Calgary Stampeders, and the 1948 Allan Cup champion Edmonton Flyers.[3] Hardy had nominated the Flyers to represent Canada at the 1947 Ice Hockey World Championships,[4] but the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association ultimately did not to send a team due to funding issues.[5][6]

D. P. McDonald of Calgary served as the league president from 1945 to 1950, until he was succeeded by Al Pickard in September 1950.[7] He expected the WCSHL to be part of the Major Series for senior hockey which was proposed as a new Canadian playoffs structure at a higher calibre of competition than the Allan Cup.[8][9] The Alexander Cup was established as the championship trophy of the Major Series, donated by Viscount Alexander, the Governor General of Canada at the time.[10]

The WCHSL wanted to expand to six teams for the 1951–52 season, and Pickard followed up on interest in Moose Jaw and Winnipeg.[11] The CAHA required that all leagues in the Major Series post a $5,000 performance bond and guarantee its winner to participate in the national playoffs.[12] The Regina Capitals submitted notice of financial issues and likelihood of folding.[13] The remaining teams chose to become professional and the WCSHL merged into the Pacific Coast Hockey League for the 1951–52 season.[14]

TeamsEdit

ChampionsEdit

  • 1945–46 – Calgary Stampeders (1946 Allan Cup champion)
  • 1946–47 – Calgary Stampeders
  • 1947–48 – Edmonton Flyers (1948 Allan Cup champion)
  • 1948–49 – Regina Capitals
  • 1949–50 – Calgary Stampeders
  • 1950–51 – Saskatoon Quakers

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Nova Scotia Man New Puck Prexy". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. April 17, 1945. p. 12. 
  2. ^ "Lethbridge Back In West Hockey Loop". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. June 3, 1946. p. 9. 
  3. ^ "Allan Cup champions". Allan Cup. 2019. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  4. ^ "Dispute Over Team Selection Denied". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. November 27, 1946. p. 14. 
  5. ^ "Edmonton Juniors' Trip Still Uncertain". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg, Manitoba. December 19, 1946. p. 27. 
  6. ^ "Gordon Issue Test Case". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. December 30, 1946. p. 12. 
  7. ^ "Al Pickard New President WCSHL". Medicine Hat News. Medicine Hat, Alberta. September 11, 1950. p. 6. 
  8. ^ "Pickard Says Major Series Is On Again". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. September 11, 1950. p. 13. 
  9. ^ Sullivan, Jack (October 27, 1950). "Super-Duper Series". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. p. 15. 
  10. ^ "Alexander Trophy For Major Series". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. November 20, 1950. p. 10. 
  11. ^ "Western Circuit May Expand To Six Teams". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. May 14, 1951. p. 12. 
  12. ^ "New Look For Hockey". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. May 26, 1951. p. 7. 
  13. ^ "Caps May Pull Out". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. June 18, 1951. p. 11. 
  14. ^ "Western Canada Senior Hockey League (1945–1951)". Hockey League History. Retrieved December 14, 2020.