The International Hockey League
was a professional ice hockey league operating in Canada and the United States from 1929 to 1936. It was a direct ancestor of the American Hockey League
It was formed when the Canadian Professional Hockey League
split into two leagues. The larger teams formed the IHL, which was one step below the National Hockey League
. The smaller teams kept the CPHL name, and served as a farm system for the IHL for one season.
Three teams folded and two others merged after the 1935-36 season, leaving the IHL with only four teams--the minimum required for the league to be viable. The remaining teams joined with the Canadian-American Hockey League
, which had also been cut down to four teams, to form a "circuit of mutual convenience" called the "International-American Hockey League." The two leagues played an interlocking schedule for the next two years, with the IHL serving as the I-AHL's Western Division and the Can-Am serving as its Eastern Division. The Buffalo Bisons
, a charter IHL member, suspended operations due to financial difficulties after only 11 games, and the I-AHL played as a seven-team unit for the rest of the season and all of the 1938-39 season.
At a meeting held in New York City on June 28, 1938, the two leagues formally merged into a unified league operating under the I-AHL name. The Eastern Amateur Hockey League
's Hershey Bears
were added as an expansion team, replacing the Bisons. "HERSHEY IN......