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Continental Hockey Association (1991)

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The Continental Hockey Association was a planned professional hockey league that was originally scheduled to begin play in October 1991 with its members playing an 80 game schedule.  The league was based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with W.D. “Bill” Hunter, who helped found the World Hockey Association as league president. The league’s initial draft was held on June 14, 1991.   The league cancelled plans for the 1991-92 season on August 15, 1991.  The league faded out of existence shortly thereafter.


The league was scheduled to have teams in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, South Florida, Hamilton, and Saskatoon.  Moscow and three other sites in Europe were planned for franchises.

The league was in trouble from the start as a franchise to be based in Atlanta, Georgia was to be based out of the Omni Coliseum, however the International Hockey League awarded an expansion team to the city of Atlanta that became known as the Atlanta Knights.  The Knights franchise was able to negotiate a lease with the city of Atlanta who owned and operated the Omni.  This was the end of the Atlanta franchise as the Omni was the only viable venue in the Atlanta area.

The Cincinnati franchise would probably have been based out of the Cincinnati Gardens or Riverfront Coliseum (now U.S. Bank Arena). The city had a history at this point of hosting the Cincinnati Mohawks of the AHL and IHL, the Cincinnati Swords of the AHL, and the Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA.

The Cleveland based franchise was owned by Minnesota-based businessman Pat O’Halloran.  The franchise was originally planned for St. Paul, Minnesota. As of the deadline for getting the league off the ground the owner had not hired any personnel or visited the city. The only viable option would have been the Richfield Coliseum as the Gund Arena would not be completed until 1994.

The Florida Makos were scheduled to be based out of the Sportatorium based in Pembroke Pines (formerly, Hollywood).  The owner had looked at the Miami Arena but favored the Sportatorium.  The owner of the franchise, Richard Gerry was based out of Long Island, New York.  Gerry had failed to make a $250,000 deposit to Silver Builders, which was the management company of the arena by the August 15 deadline.  Gerry had sold his interest in the Roanoke Valley Rampage franchise in the East Coast Hockey League to finance his $400,000 investment in the South Florida franchise.  The NHL was in the process of working on expansion at this point in time and the Miami area was one of the finalists.  Wayne Huizena was awarded what would become the Florida Panthers on December 10, 1992.

The Hamilton franchise would have been based out of the Copps Coliseum (now FirstOntario Centre), which was opened in 1985.

The Saskatoon team had Bob Strumm in place as the team’s general manager. The team would probably have played in Saskatchewan Place (now the Credit Union Centre).

Potential Players

The largest name mentioned as a possibility for the league was Eric Lindros, who according to press reports in Canada was possibly offered a multiyear contract worth over $1,000,000 per year.  Lindros’ agent, Rick Curran had stated that the league had offered him “a lucrative deal”.


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