Southern Professional Hockey League: Wikis


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Southern Professional Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 2004
No. of teams 7
Country(ies)  United States
Most recent champion(s) Knoxville Ice Bears
Most championships Knoxville Ice Bears (3)
Official website

The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) is a professional ice hockey league based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with teams located in the southeastern United States.



The SPHL's history traces back to three other short-lived leagues. The Atlantic Coast Hockey League started play in the 2002–03 season. After its only season, the ACHL dissolved with member teams forming the nucleus for two rival leagues, the South East Hockey League and the World Hockey Association 2. After one season the SEHL and WHA2 disbanded, with their surviving teams rejoining with two expansion teams to form the SPHL, commencing with the 2004-05 season.

In 2009, the SPHL saw a large expansion as three new franchises in Biloxi, Mississippi[1][2][3], Lafayette, Louisiana[4] and Pensacola, Florida,[5][6] all three of which were former ECHL markets within the past five years that produced competitive teams, each of which either won the league's championship or regular season title.


Map of SPHL teams
Solid black.svg Current location Thick lined square.svg Former location Green thick lined square.svg Original team


Team Arena Capacity City/area Joined
Columbus Cottonmouths Columbus Civic Center 7,509 Columbus, Georgia 2004
Fayetteville FireAntz Cumberland County Crown Coliseum 8,500 Fayetteville, North Carolina 2004
Huntsville Havoc Von Braun Center 6,602 Huntsville, Alabama 2004
Knoxville Ice Bears James White Civic Coliseum 7,141 Knoxville, Tennessee 2004
Louisiana IceGators Blackham Coliseum 5,500 Lafayette, Louisiana 2009
Mississippi Surge Mississippi Coast Coliseum 9,150 Biloxi, Mississippi 2009
Pensacola Ice Flyers Pensacola Civic Center 8,150 Pensacola, Florida 2009

Starting Play in 2010–11

Team Arena Capacity City/area Joined
Augusta River Hawks James Brown Arena 9,167 Augusta, Georgia 2010


Possible future expansion

  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina[7]

Defunct franchises

Key rule differences

As per minor leagues, there are some rule differences between the SPHL and the NHL (and even the ECHL and AHL, the two official developmental leagues regulated by the Professional Hockey Players Association).

  • A team may dress sixteen regular players to a game. Two players dressed for the game will be goaltenders.
  • There is no trapezoid restriction limiting the goaltender playing the puck and is eligible to play the puck anywhere on his side of the center redline.
  • A mouthpiece is required for all players except the goaltender.
  • No curvature of stick limitations as in the NHL, AHL, and ECHL.
  • Shootouts are five players (as in the ECHL and AHL).
  • All overtime periods in the regular season are between three skaters per team and the goaltender (3 on 3, compared to 4 on 4 in other leagues). Penalty rules differ during the overtime:
    • During the first three minutes of overtime, in case of a penalty, the non-offending team is awarded one extra skater per penalty (up to two extra, five total).
    • In the final two minutes, any minor penalty results in an automatic penalty shot. [12]



President's Cup

2004–05 Columbus Cottonmouths
2005–06 Knoxville Ice Bears
2006–07 Fayetteville FireAntz
2007–08 Knoxville Ice Bears
2008–09 Knoxville Ice Bears

Regular Season

William B. Coffey Trophy

Originally known as the Commissioner's Cup, the regular season trophy was renamed in honor of league co-founder William B. Coffey during the 2007–08 season.[13]

2004–05 Knoxville Ice Bears
2005–06 Knoxville Ice Bears
2006–07 Columbus Cottonmouths
2007–08 Knoxville Ice Bears
2008–09 Knoxville Ice Bears

See also


  1. ^ Giardina, A.J. (April 9, 2009). "Local investors may bring another hockey team to the coast". WLOX-TV. Retrieved April 10, 2009. 
  2. ^ Press release (April 30, 2009). "Biloxi to join SPHL". Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Coast Hockey announces new team name". The Sun Herald. June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 17, 2009. 
  4. ^ Foote, Kevin (May 15, 2009). "IceGators to skate again; join the discussion". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  5. ^ Blakeney, Jason (April 30, 2009). "Hockey's Back!". Pensacola News Journal. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  6. ^ Blakeney, Jason (May 9, 2009). "Commentary: New team, new name, new opportunity". Pensacola News Journal. 
  7. ^ "SPHL expects to add teams". The Fayetteville Observer. May 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Florida Seals cease operations". Press release. January 5, 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Gates, Nick (June 21, 2009). "Murray liking SPHL expansion". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Renegades Officially Done". Press release. April 30, 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Cyclones To Cease Operations". Press release. March 24, 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "History of the SPHL". Retrieved 16 March 2010. 

External links


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